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Interesting Facts About Asia’s Sports
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Football is the national sport of Myanmar (formerly Burma). Khin Maung Lwin (Secretary General of the Myanmar Olympic Committee) said: “As in most countries in the world, football is the most popular sport in Myanmar. When our national football team became champions at the 5th Asian Games in Bangkok in 1966 and the 6th Asian Games in Bangkok in 1970, football became even more popular among our people. Apart from this, athletics, sepaktakraw and wushu are also popular in our country.
Japan won five gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics: one in athletics and four in judo.
Susanthika Jayasinghe became the second athlete from Sri Lanka – formerly Ceylon – to medal at the Olympics when she won the silver medal in the 200m at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia. The great sprinter Susanthika won gold in the 100m and 200m at the 2007 Asian Championships in Amman (Jordan). At the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, she won the bronze medal in the 200m. Susanthika was born on December 17, 1975 in Atnawala, Sri Lanka.
Bangkok (Thailand) hosted four Asian Games (1966, 1970, 1978, 1998).
Pakistan sent 32 sportsmen to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich (West Germany). Pakistani athletes competed in six sports (athletics, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, field hockey, sailing).
Sawao Kato was one of the best gymnasts of the 20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kato won several international medals in Europe, Asia and Mexico. At the 1968 Olympics, he won three gold medals in the individual, floor and team all-around.
Kabbadi is practiced by millions of people in Bangladesh and India. Unfortunately, it is not an Olympic sport.
Brunei Darussalam, one of the richest countries in the world, won two bronze medals at the Hiroshima Games in 1994.
Volleyball (men and women) was first presented at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo (Japan). The host country won the women’s volleyball competition. The winners were: Yuriko Handa, Kinuko Tanida, Emiko Miyamoto, Ayano Shibuki, Massako Kondo, Yoko Fujimoto, Setsuko Sassaki, Yoko Shinozaki, Katsumi Matsumura, Sata Issobe, Yoshiko Matsumura, Masae Kasai.
The Kingdom of Bhutan – it’s about twice the size of Massachusetts – has never won a medal in any sport at the Asian Games.
Jordan sent 7 athletes to the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. This Arab country participated in four sports: athletics (2), shooting (1), table tennis (1) and taekwondo (3).
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) hosted the Men’s Field Hockey World Championship in 1975. Final standings: 1.India, 2.Pakistan, 3.West Germany, 4.Malaysia, 5.Australia, 6.England, 7.New Zealand, 8.Spain, 9.Holland, 10.Poland, 11.Argentina, 12.Ghana.
The United Arab Emirates won 22 medals at the 2005 West Asian Games in Doha (Qatar).
Japan is the birthplace of judo. The first World Judo Championships were held in Tokyo (1956). Judo made its debut as an official sport during the 1964 Summer Olympics in Japan.
The most popular sports in Oman – an Arab country – are football, volleyball, athletics and handball.
The 1962 Asian Games were held in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. As hosts, Indonesia won a total of 48 medals and 9 gold medals. For political reasons, Israel and Taiwan did not participate in the Games.
Ahmed Al Maktoum (United Arab Emirates) won a gold medal in shooting at the 2004 Summer Olympics, held in Athens, Greece. A sports journalist said: “On a remarkable day in August at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hasher Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates took victory in the men’s doubles shooting event, equaling the Olympic record of 189 points previously set by Australian Russell Mark at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics”.
Mongolia sent two female archers to the 1972 Summer Olympics. They were Natjav Dariimaa and Doljin Demberel.
Tokyo hosted the FIVB Men’s World Championship in 2007. Final standings:
4. Serbia and Montenegro,
12. Puerto Rico,
19. South Korea,
Japan has famous athletes: Ryoko Tani (judo), Takehiro Kashima (gymnastics), Kori Murofushi (athletics), Saori Yoshida (wrestling), Ayumi Tanimoto (martial arts), Mizuki Noguchi (marathon), Kosuke Kitajima (water aerobics), Ai Shibata (swimming), Hiroshi Yamamoto (archery).
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