China and Japan are the only two nations who have consistently topped the medal table at the Asian Games. Japanese athletes were on top in the first eight editions, while their Chinese counterparts have finished first in the nine versions since 1982 Asian games. Third in the race for overall standings is South Korea.
China, till date has a total of 1473 gold medals, Japan a close second with 1032 gold, and South Korea with 745 gold.
Not surprisingly, all these three countries have seen consistent performance at the Summer Olympics as well. But what one needs to notice is the rise of smaller countries on the medal tally. Countries like Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhasthan, seem to be quietly rising and also maintaining a consistency in performance, and that is a sign that India needs to keep track of, says Kanthi D Suresh, Editor-in-Chief, Power Sportz. It’s the top ten slot that flashes on any medal tally in the first glance, and with the rise of these other countries in Middle East and Central Asia, slipping out of that top 10 slot is something that no country can take lightly, feels Kanthi.
A look at the past three editions of Asian games have also seen countries like Chinese Taipei, Qatar, Indonesia, Thailand edge its position on the medal tally, giving a couple of tense moments to Indias position. India performed its best in 2018 with a record number of 16 gold medals, the highest in its Asian games history, but it came with an overall ranking of 8 on the medal tally. That’s the part that we should keep our focus on, feels Kanthi D Suresh, because at the end of the day, its a competition and there will always be a comparative analysis.
In the 2018 edition, Indonesia got ranked at 4, certainly benefitting from a home advantage, but it was Chinese Taipei that steadily rose up to the number 7 position, with Kazakhastan, close on the heels of India with the same number of gold medals but falling one rank short at number 9, on account of having fewer silver on the tally.
Indias medal tally at the Asian games should definitely be a reflection of Indias dominance on the World map and the clout that it seems to be enjoying as an emerging super power in the eyes of many Powerful countries.
India, with the current focus on sports should be able to go past the other smaller Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries to be closer to the top of the medal tally, and a high ranking on the Asian games medal tally is definitely a measure of Indias soft power, according to Kanthi D Suresh, who has anchored the Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth games for India, for many years.