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Factbox on sports at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon

Factbox on the sports events at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea from September 9-October 4:

AQUATICS

SWIMMING – The swimming events will take place at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center, named after South Korea’s 2008 Olympic 400 metres freestyle champion, over five days from Sept. 21-26.

There will be a total of 38 gold medals on offer – 19 each for men and women.

China have dominated swimming at recent Asian Games and have a powerful squad led by Olympic champions Sun Yang, Ye Shiwen and Jiao Liuyang.

Japan also have a strong team, winning seven golds at the recent Pan Pacific championships. Park, who won three gold medals at the last Games, will spearhead the home team.

DIVING – Diving will also take place at Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center from Sept. 29-Oct. 3. There are 10 golds on offer. China has won every gold since they started competing at the Asian Games in 1974.

SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING – Also scheduled to take place at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center, from Sept. 20-23. There are three golds at stake.

WATER POLO – Water polo will take place at the Dream Park Aquatics Centre. There are seven teams in the men’s event, where Kazakhstan are defending champions, and six in the women’s, where China are looking for back-to-back triumphs.

ATHLETICS

The athletics events take place at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium over seven days. There will be a total of 47 golds on offer, 24 for men and 23 for women, who do not compete in 50km walk.

China, who have world class quality in the field events and race-walking, will again be expected to take home the most medals, while Qatar’s world indoor high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim is the standout athlete taking part.

There will also be plenty of eyes on Japanese teenager Yoshihide Kiryu, who has a 100 metres personal best of 10.01 seconds, in the blue riband sprint.

ARCHERY

In addition to the Olympic style recurve competition, the Asian Games will also feature a compound archery tournament for the first time.

The compound bow differs from its recurve equivalent in that it incorporates a lever system that uses pulleys and cables to help draw back the limbs, making the process of drawing and aiming less strenuous.

The competition will take place at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field from Sept. 23-28 with a total of eight golds on offer.

South Korea are the leading lights of recurve, with 2012 Olympic champion Oh Jin-hyek and world number one Lee Seung-yun headlining the men’s team, while Jung Dasomi, ranked number two in the world, spearheads a strong women’s team.

South Korea have won 33 of the 44 archery golds awarded since the sport was officially included at the 1978 Bangkok Games, with Japan a distant second with seven.

BADMINTON

Badminton promises to be one of the highest quality events with the region providing a majority of the world’s best players.

Taking place over 10 days at the Gyeyang Gymnasium, badminton offers seven gold medals in total with three each for men’s and women’s events as well as the mixed doubles.

Global powerhouse China has won 36 of the 90 golds awarded in Asian Games history, ahead of Indonesia (24) and South Korea (15), although India and Malaysia will be sending strong teams this time in the hope of gatecrashing the party.

Based on a single-elimination tournament, each match is played as the best-of-three games with the first to reach 21 points winning a game. A player must win by at least two points or be the first to 30 points.

Rally scoring is used, meaning a player does not need to be serving to score.

BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL

Baseball will be played at two venues, the Munhak Baseball Stadium and the smaller Mokdong Baseball Stadium. There are eight men’s teams competing.

Baseball was introduced in 1994, with Japan winning the inaugural tournament. South Korea are the defending champions.

Softball will be held at the Songdo LNG Baseball Stadium. The sport was introduced four years earlier than baseball, in 1990. China won the first three tournaments and Japan have won the last three. There are six women’s teams competing this time.

BASKETBALL

The basketball tournament will be split between the Samsan World Gymnasium and the Hwaseong Sports Complex.

There are 16 teams in the men’s competition and 11 in the women’s. The men’s basketball dates back to 1951, when the Philippines won the first of four straight titles. China are the defending champions and have won seven of the last nine titles.

Women’s basketball was introduced in 1974. Japan won the first tournament while China have won the last three.

BOWLING

Bowling was first held in 1978. The sport was left off the program in 1982 and 1990 but has been a permanent inclusion since.

There are 12 gold at stake – six each for men and women. The sport’s traditional powers include South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. The competition will be held at the Anyang Hogye Gymnasium.

BOXING

Since its 1954 introduction in Manila, boxing has featured at every Asian Games and 13 golds – 10 for men and three for women – will be up for grabs.

South Korea have won the most medals (56), but China dominated in front of a home crowd when they hosted the Games in Guangzhou four years ago, winning five of the 13 titles.

The events, scheduled from Sept. 24 to Oct. 3 at the Seonhak Gymnasium, will see male boxers trading punches without the headgear following a decision taken last year by the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA).

Women’s boxing, which was introduced in Guangzhou and made a popular Olympic debut in the 2012 London Games, will continue its growth story in South Korea in three Olympic weight classes.

In the men’s competition, bouts consist of three rounds of three minutes each, while it will be four rounds of two minutes each for the women.

CANOEING AND KAYAKING

The canoeing and kayaking competition will be held at the Hanam Misari Canoe/Kayak Centre about 60 kilometres east of Incheon. The venue was used at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

There are 12 medals up for grabs in the sprint events, which will be held from Sept. 27-29, and are completed over 200, 500 and 1,000 metres.

There will be four medals up for grabs in the men’s and women’s K1 and C1 slalom events, which will be held on Oct. 1-2.

China has dominated events, though paddlers from Uzbekistan are also competitive.

CRICKET

The men’s and women’s Twenty20 cricket events will take place from Sept. 20 to Oct. 3 at the Yeonhui cricket ground in Incheon with India once again opting to skip the tournament.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the only test playing nations who are sending teams for both medal events, while another, Pakistan, will compete in just the women’s competition.

Both events start with group play but Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have been given a bye to the quarter-finals of the men’s tournament, with Japan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh receiving the same in the women’s.

Cricket made its debut in Guangzhou four years ago with Bangladesh taking the men’s title and Pakistan the women’s.

CYCLING

There are 18 cycling medals up for grabs with the 10 track events taking place in the unusual setting of an outdoor velodrome that is 83 metres longer than the traditional indoor 250m venues used for major competition.

Hong Kong, who have raised issues about the track venue, and hosts South Korea, won four golds at the last Games where China topped the medals table with seven wins.

London Games silver medalist Guo Shuang of China and Hong Kong’s Olympic bronze winner Lee Wai Sze are set to renew their track rivalry in the women’s keirin and sprint events.

The two BMX events will take place at the Ganghwa Asiad Track, while the road races will head through the Songdo business district and the university area of the city. The mountain bikers will compete for gold at the Yeongjong Baegunsan course.

EQUESTRIAN

The equestrian events take place at the Dream Park Equestrian Venue over eight days from Sept. 20-30, including three rest days.

There will be a total of six golds on offer, with women and men competing on equal footing in individual and team competitions in dressage, eventing and jumping.

History suggests a showdown between the hosts and Japan for the titles but Saudi Arabia won both jumping titles in Guangzhou four years ago and the Gulf nation should again be strong over the obstacles.

The first death of an athlete in competition in the history of the Games came in Doha eight years ago when South Korea’s Kim Hyung-chil was crushed by his horse in a heavy fall.

FENCING

Fencing takes place at the Goyang Gymnasium in Gyeonggi Province over six days.

There will be a total of 12 golds on offer, six each for men and women with individual and team events for both sexes in foil, epee and sabre.

South Korean hopes of home success will be high with the Olympic champion men’s sabre team and women’s individual sabre gold medallist from London, Kim Ji-yeon, out to add to their medal collections.

GOLF

The golf events take place at Dream Park Country Club, from Sept. 25-28.

There will be a total of four golds on offer, one individual medal each for men and women and one each for the men’s and women’s team competitions.

The competition will be run under the stroke play system with two-men teams and three-women teams playing 18 holes each day.

The hosts and China are expected to fight for gold in the women’s event, where South Korean Lee So-young will be looking to backup last month’s victory at the Youth Olympics, while Japan will also be strong in the men’s event.

GYMNASTICS

Gymnastics is divided into three separate disciplines – artistic, which involves both men’s and women’s competitors, rhythmic, which is solely for women and involves choreographed use of apparatus to music, and trampolining.

All three competitions will be held at the 8,800-seater Namdong Gymnasium.

The artistic competition will be held from Sept. 21-25 with 14 gold medals up for grabs in the teams, individual all-around and individual apparatus competitions.

Men will compete in six individual apparatus finals – floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar, while the women have four – vault, uneven bars, beam and floor.

China have been the dominant force in artistic gymnastics since it was introduced at the 1974 games in Tehran, winning 123 of the 175 gold medals awarded.

Trampolining will be held on Sept. 26 with two gold medals for men’s and women’s individual performances on offer.

The rhythmic gymnastics team’s event will be held on Oct. 1 and the individual all-around competition on Oct. 2.

HANDBALL

The handball events will take place at the Seonhak Handball Gymnasium and the Suwon Gymnasium from Sept. 20-Oct. 2 with one gold on offer for both the men’s and women’s events.

South Korea have dominated both since the sport joined the Games in 1982, winning 11 of the 14 golds awarded.

The hosts will also fancy their chances again, with their women finishing just outside the medals at the London Olympics and the men also qualifying as Asia’s best.

HOCKEY

The hockey events will take place at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium from Sept. 20-Oct. 2 with one gold on offer for both men and women.

Pakistan have won the men’s event eight times since it was introduced in 1958, though South Korea, China and 2010 silver medallists Malaysia will also fancy their chances this year.

China’s women will seek a fourth consecutive gold after winning a tense penalty shoot-out with South Korea in the final of the 2010 Guangzhou Games.

JUDO

The judo events will take place at the Dowon Gymnasium from Sept. 20-23.

Boasting world class judokas from the martial art’s global superpowers, the judo tournament is always a highlight of the Asian Games and is likely to be fiercely contested.

A total of 16 golds are on offer, with eight different categories each for men and women.

Japan topped the medal standings at Guangzhou, with their seven golds just pipping South Korea’s six, but their failure to win more in their native sport was considered a national disgrace.

China and Uzbekistan are also likely to be strong contenders for medals.

KABBADI

The kabbadi tournament will take place at the Songdo Global University Gymnasium from Sept. 28-Oct. 3 with a gold each for the men’s and women’s events on offer.

A team sport born in India, no other nation has upset the game’s creators who have won all six of the men’s tournaments dating back to 1990 and the sole women’s title at its Guangzhou debut.

The other medals have generally gone to the other handful of nations that take the game seriously, like Pakistan and Bangladesh, but Iran’s men were a bolt from the blue at Guangzhou before getting thrashed by India in the final.

The women’s tournament is likely to be more open, at least for the minor medals, with Thailand and Iran expected to challenge.

KARATE

Karate, meaning ’empty hand’, is a striking martial art developed in Okinawa, Japan and uses punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques.

A karate practitioner is called a karateka.

The Karate competition will take place at the Gyeyang Gymnasium from Oct. 2-4 and there will be 13 golds up for grabs, seven for men and six for women.

Unsurprisingly, Japan have been the powerhouse in the sport since it was introduced at the Hiroshima Games in 1994, emerging as the most successful nation at each edition since its inclusion with 36 medals in total, including 23 golds.

Iran and Malaysia are next on the all-time table with the Iranians bagging nine golds among their 22 medals, while the Malaysians have taken home six golds in a 26-medal haul.

MODERN PENTATHLON

The modern pentathlon comprises five disciplines held in one day with participants competing in fencing, swimming, equestrian, and the final combined event of shooting and running.

A staple of the Olympic Games since 1912, the event has appeared at the Asian Games in 1994, 2002 and 2010.

The combined event is a handicapped start with the rankings leader starting first in a 3,000m run broken up by three shooting sections at five targets. The first competitor to cross the line at the end of the combined event wins gold.

The rankings are determined based on the total amount of points from the three pervious disciplines and four medals are being offered at the Asian Games, in both men’s and women’s team and individual events.

The competition is due to take place on Oct. 2-3 at four venues within the Dream Park complex with two medals awarded on each of the days.

South Korea, China and Kazakhstan have accounted for the gold medals in the event, with the hosts claiming six of the 12 handed out since its inclusion.

ROWING

Asian Games rowers could be forgiven for feeling a little isolated from their team mates in other sports as they will be competing at a venue situated the furthest away from the hub of the action.

While the Chungju Tangeum Lake International Rowing Center in North Chungcheong province is a fantastic venue that hosted the 2013 World Rowing Championships, it is located more than 100 km from Incheon.

Once racing gets underway in the six days of competition from Sept. 20-25, 14 golds will be awarded in an even split of events between men and women rowers.

China has a virtual monopoly on the success in regional rowing competitions and is expected to dominate again after bagging 74 of the 86 gold medals awarded in the history of the sport since it was introduced in 1982.

RUGBY SEVENS

Rugby sevens was introduced with just men’s teams in 1998 in Bangkok, Thailand with South Korea beating Japan in the final.

Women’s teams first played in 2010 at Guangzhou.

The rugby sevens competition will consist of 13 men’s and 11 women’s teams and be held from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at the 5,000-seat Namdong Asiad Rugby Field.

Japan, Asian rugby’s heavyweights, have won the past two men’s titles, though the International Rugby Board’s World Sevens Series core side were upstaged by Hong Kong and South Korea at the Asian sevens tournament in August.

Kazakhstan won the inaugural women’s title in Guangzhou and are the strongest side in Asian women’s rugby having competed at the women’s 15s World Cup in France earlier this year.

China, who now have a squad of 20 full-time professionals, Japan and Hong Kong will also be strong having played at the IRB World Series qualifying tournament in mid-September.

SAILING

The Sailing disciplines will take place at the new Wangsan Sailing Marina with six medals up for grabs for both men and women with a further two in mixed events.

China topped the sailing medals table at the last Asian Games but face competition from the hosts and Japan to repeat that performance in the Sept. 24-Oct.1 event.

Traditionally strong sailors Singapore have opted for a youthful lineup in Incheon with 12-year-old Raynn Kwok amongst their 17-member lineup.

SEPAKTAKRAW

Thailand have dominated sepaktakraw since it was introduced at the 1990 Beijing Games, winning 18 of the 27 golds awarded. There are six golds on offer in Incheon.

The sport, native to Southeast Asia, sees players use any part of their bodies except hands and arms to send a rattan ball into the opposing court.

There are different versions throughout the region, including one in Myanmar called ‘Chinlone’ where there is no opposing team and the object is to keep the ball in the air.

The competition at the Asian Games will take place from Sept. 20 to Oct. 3 at the Bucheon Gymnasium.

SHOOTING

The shooting competition will take place from Sept. 20-30.

The Ongnyeon International Shooting Range will host the rifle, pistol and running target events, while the shotgun events will take place at the Gyeonggido Shooting Range.

The discipline, which was first incorporated in the 1954 Asian Games, will have 44 gold medals on offer in Incheon, 26 for men and 18 for women, which is the second-most after athletics (47).

China took 21 of the 44 golds on offer in Guangzhou four years ago, and won 45 shooting medals overall. South Korea were their nearest challengers on 13 golds.

China are once again expected to dominate the ranges with the South Koreans set to provide the main competition for gold.

SOCCER

The men’s and women’s football tournament will kick-off on Sept. 14, five days before the opening ceremony, and run through until Oct. 2 with matches played at six venues – three in Incheon and one in Ansan, Goyang and Hwaseong.

The women’s event has no age limit but the men’s is for under-23 players with each squad allowed to pick three over-aged ‘wildcards’, but some of the best players are missing because the tournament falls outside of the FIFA international calendar and clubs are not required to release them.

Japan won both events four years ago with the men beating the United Arab Emirates and the women ending North Korea’s bid for three consecutive golds.

SQUASH

Malaysian squash superstar Nicol David will be in the hunt for her fourth singles gold medal in Incheon. Malaysia have won seven of the 10 golds awarded since squash was introduced at the 1998 Bangkok Games.

There will be four golds awarded in Incheon — men’s and women’s singles and team events. The Sept. 20-27 tournament will be held at the Yeorumul Squash Courts.

TABLE TENNIS

China are unlikely to loosen their vice-like grip on table tennis and will be looking for a repeat of their remarkable Guangzhou performance when they swept all seven golds four years ago.

The Chinese have won 55 of the 91 gold medals awarded since table tennis was introduced in 1958 at Tokyo. They have topped the table tennis medal standings at every Games since 1974.

The competition takes place from Sept. 27 to Oct. 4 with seven golds up for grabs at the Suwon Gymnasium.

TRIATHLON

Triathlon, which made its debut in Doha in 2006, will be held on Sept. 25-26 at Songdo Central Park, which is where South Korean singer Psy filmed his “Gangnam Style” video.

In addition to the men’s and women’s individual events, there will also be mixed relay team event consisting of two men and two women.

The individual events feature 1.5km swimming followed by 40km cycling and 10 km running. Japan won both the individual golds at Guangzhou in 2010.

TENNIS

Seven golds will be up for grabs in tennis and seven more in soft tennis.

Tennis runs from Sept. 20-30 and soft tennis from Sept. 29 to Oct. 4. There will be singles, doubles, and team events for both men and women. There are no mixed doubles. In the team events, each tie will consist of three matches – two singles and a doubles.

Hosts South Korea are expected to dominate soft tennis, which is played with a softer rubber ball, and will be played at Yeorumul Tennis Courts.

VOLLEYBALL

There are two golds on offer in the volleyball competition, which will be held from Sept. 20-Oct. 3 at the Songnim Gymnasium and Ansan Sangroksu Gymnasium. Japan won the men’s event and China the women’s four years ago.

Beach volleyball, which runs from Sept. 20-29, will also offer two golds. China won both the men’s and women’s events at the last two Asian Games.

WEIGHTLIFTING

China won more than half of the golds on offer from weightlifting when they hosted in Guangzhou in 2010 and are again expected to put up a strong show in Incheon.

Taking place over seven days from Sept. 20-26 at the Moonlight Festival Garden, the weightlifting competition will have 15 events – eight categories for men and seven for women.

The athletes will have three attempts in two categories – snatch and clean and jerk – and the lifters will be ranked according to the highest aggregate of the two categories.

The sport, which has had its problems with doping violations in the past, has been part of every Asian Games, except the 1962 Asiad in Jakarta, since its inception in New Delhi in 1951.

WRESTLING

The wrestling events offer a total of 20 golds – 16 for men and four for women – and will be held over five days at Dowon Gymnasium.

The men will compete in eight weight categories in both the freestyle and greco-roman formats. Women will compete only in the freestyle category.

Japan top the medals table, winning 62 of the 221 gold medals up for grabs since wrestling was first added in 1954.

Iran put up a strong showing in Guangzhou four years ago, winning seven of the 18 events.

WUSHU

Wushu, a collective term for the martial arts that originated and were developed in China, was introduced at Beijing in 1990.

The competition will offer 15 golds – nine for men and six for women – and will include both sanda (sparring) and taolu (routine-based) events, which will be staged over five days from Sept. 20-24 at the Ganghwa Dolmens Gymnasium.

China won nine of the 15 golds on offer in Guangzhou are set to dominate again. (Reuters)

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