China's massive contingent at the Eighth Asian Games in Bangkok roared into an early lead in the medals table on Sunday (December 10) by capturing eight gold medals.
China's massive contingent at the Eighth Asian Games in Bangkok roared into an early lead in the medals table on Sunday (December 10) by capturing eight gold medals. North Korea, their nearest rivals managed to strike gold only twice when their flyweight and bantamweight champions snatched two weightlifting titles. Japan, which won twice as many medals as China in the Teheran Games four years ago are trailing badly, managing only one silver and three bronze medals. But they are certain to recoup its 8-0 gold deficit once the swimming events get underway this week. The trouble-plagued Games finally swung into action on Saturday (December 9) at the Bangkok National Sports Stadium.
SYNOPSIS: Thailand's King Bhumibol declared the 1978 Asiad open before a capacity crowd of 40,000.
Nearly four thousand athletes representing twenty five countries paraded around the stadium in a blaze of colour and pageantry. Noticeably absent is Israel, which was barred from participating because of what organisers claimed were security reasons. (SEQ 1-4)
The South Koreans in orange blazers drew large applause from flag-waving Koreans who were spread among the spectators. (SEQ 5)
Much interest centres on the performance of China's huge contingent. China re-emerged from its sporting isolation to compete in the 1974 Games in Teheran where it scooped up 33 gold medal to finish third behind Japan and Iran. (SEQ 6)
The giant Japanese party of four hundred are certain to come out on top again. (SEQ 7)
Competitors from the Philippines will be hoping to erase their dismal performance in the Games four years ago. They're expected to pick up at least five medals in ten pin bowling. (SEQ 8)
Iran, unable to attend the Games because of civil disturbances at home were represented by a solitary flag bearer. (SEQ 9)
Saudi Arabia, one of the great financial backers of the competition, hopes to scoop up two or three gold medals in its first appearance in the Games. The oil-rich kingdom has sent young team of 146 athletes.
Thailand is hosting the Asiad for the third time in 12 years, after first Singapore, India, and then Pakistan turned down the task of staging the Games. (SEQ 11-15)