Asian Games Open
News Shorts
Posted: September 25, 2023
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    Athletes enter the stage during the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on September 23, 2023. (AP/Aijaz Rahi)
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    Athletes and team officials of Japan arrive during the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on September 23, 2023. (AP/Eugene Hoshiko)
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    A Laotian player, left, kicks a ball against a Thai player during a men’s sepak takraw match in Palembang, Indonesia, in 2018. (AP/Vincent Thian)
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    An Indian player, in blue, is caught by Iran’s team, in red, during the women’s team kabaddi gold medal match at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2018. (AP/Tatan Syuflana)
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    Iran’s Zahra Kiani competes during a women’s wushu event at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018. (AP/Aaron Favila)
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Fans packed a stadium in Hangzhou, China. Thousands of athletes marched in a parade. The 2023 Asian Games opened on Saturday.

The huge two-week sports event is similar to the Olympic Games. But only athletes from Asian countries take part.

There are 12,417 competitors. They came from 45 nations and territories. The 481 events offer plenty of opportunities to win. Five years ago, China won almost 300 medals.

Many of the events are also in the Olympics. Look for track and field, swimming, archery, boxing, hockey, sailing, tennis, water polo—and lots of others.

There are also many sports and games you won’t see at the Olympics.

Some are “mind sports.” Those include bridge, chess, xiangqi (Chinese chess), and esports (video game competitions).

Kabaddi (pronounced kuh-bud-DEE) players don’t use clubs, rackets, goals, or even a ball. Kabaddi is a bit like the games Red Rover or British Bulldog. Two teams compete on a small court. One player crosses the centerline. He or she tries to touch as many players as possible on the other side and return without being tackled.

Sepak takraw (SEH-puk tah-KRAW) is similar to volleyball. Players can’t use their hands. The ball is mostly kicked over a five-foot-high net. In the United States, the sport is often known as “kick volleyball.” The goal is to get the ball to hit the ground on the other side of the net. The ball is smaller than a volleyball or soccer ball. It’s about the size of a cantaloupe or a large grapefruit.

Wushu (woo-SHOO) is also known as kung fu. It is the Chinese term for “martial arts.” One type of competition is performing routines that show off jumps, stances, and footwork. Another type of competition is full-contact fighting. That is often known as Chinese kickboxing.

Kurash (KOO-rash) involves a range of folk wrestling styles. It is popular in Central Asia. Historians say the sport is thousands of years old.