Date: 12-27 November 2010
Host City: Guangzhou
NOCs Participating: 45
The 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou would go down in history as "one of the best ever", as Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah put it on the closing day of the Games on November 27, 2010. These Games were unprecedented in both size and scale in the 59-year history of the quadrennial event. A total of 9,704 athletes from 45 countries and regions participated in a record 42 sports ranging from aquatics to wushu.
Host hurdler Liu Xiang, one of the most spotlight-catching athletes at the Asiad, returned to his old style with a record-breaking performance. The 2004 Olympic champion stormed to a new Asian record of 13.09 seconds for his third straight Asiad title in the men's 110m hurdles, drawing loads of praises from both media and fans.
Other veterans impressed the world with their persistence. Once a Dallas Maverick, China's first NBA player Wang Zhizhi played a key leadership in China's 77-71 final victory over archrivals Korea as well as in their title-defending campaign. Japanese Kimiko Date Krumm saw her hopes of a second Asiad singles gold, 16 years after her first, shattered by China's Peng Shuai in the semifinals, but the 40-year-old promised to stay on court for at least another year. Another veteran's show made the skeet shooting competition a little nostalgic as 1992 Olympic champion Zhang Shan, at the age of 42, led her younger teammates to the skeet team title.
Fortunately for world sports, the moving moments of these Games were not just about the past. Lao Yi, a 25-year-old athlete from southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, turned out to be the brightest freshman on international stage by leading his team to the 4x100m gold after becoming the first Chinese to lift the men's 100m at the Asiad. Hu Yadan, merely 14, began China's clean sweep of diving golds by winning the women's 10m platform title. The 1.45-meter-tall surprised the world with her dexterity when she first won a 2009 diving Grand Prix event in Madrid and looks to be a strong contender at the 2012 London Olympics.
As the host country, China clinched a total of 416 medals (199 golds, 119 silvers, 98 bronzes) to top the gold medal tally again, followed by Korea with 232 (76, 65, 91) and Japan with 216 (48, 74, 94). On November 26, the last but one day before the closing of the Games, China broke its best Asian Games gold tally of 183 set in 1990 as Feng Lanlan won the women's 68kg class karate final to clinch the 184th gold medal for China.