Eyes turn East after Asian Games

December 21, 2006 1:24am CST
DOHA, Dec 16 - The Chinese not only took home the most gold medals for a seventh successive Asian Games from Doha, they took the flag and torch of the continental gathering too. With the next Summer Olympics in Beijing in 2008 and the 16th Asian Games taking place in the southern city of Guangzhou in 2010, the next four-year cycle in Asian sport will have a distinctly Chinese flavour. Their athletes, however, do not seem to need the advantage of performing on home soil after winning 165 of the 428 gold medals in Doha, 15 more than in Pusan in 2002. Two thirds of the delegation had never competed at a major Games and still China swept the diving pool, won six of seven golds in table tennis, 27 of 44 in shooting, 11 in gymnastics as well as making inroads into new sports with a bronze in rugby sevens.
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