Friday, September 30, 2016

Pushing on from Rio

The Rio Olympics ended more than a month ago, but celebrations continue.
Malaysia performed worthily, but their celebrants must not go giddy over it.
The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is the first step forward, but it is the lowest barometer of excellence.
At the 35th Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly held on Sept 25 at Da Nang, Vietnam during the 5th Asian Beach Games, the Rio Olympics performance analysis of OCA member countries was done by the OCA information and statistics committee headed by Zagdsuren Demchigjav (the president of the Mongolian Olympic Committee).
It was well researched and gave a realistic picture of sporting standards in Asia.
The report structured around the following areas: 1. Medal standings and general information; 2. Medal comparisons; 3. Sport by sport analysis and it reviews and key achievements; 4. Region by region analysis and its best sports events; 5. other key milestones and facts.
The committee used historical data sets to compare its improvement and other noticeable changes on the last 10 Olympics by its regions, gender and sports events.
The key findings included:
·        21 Asian nations won at least one medal at the Rio Games and 15 of them won gold medal.
·        Although Asian nations won one more gold medals than four years ago in London, it was still short of Beijing and Athens. Total of 68 gold medals accumulated 22.15% of available gold medal at Rio.
·        Asia captured 21.36% of total medals at Rio, around 2% better than London 2012.It lacks 5 medals from record breaking Beijing 2008.
·        In terms of medal quality, Asia won the highest number of bronze medals in their history at Rio with 86. 54 silver medals saw Asia at joint second highest results at the Olympics. Gold medal accounts for 22.15% of total medals won by Asian nations.
·        In archery, badminton, table tennis and weightlifting, Asian athletes won more medals than other continents.
·        Asia did not win any medals from 8 disciplines including triathlon, modern pentathlon and football.
·        Asia is leading continent in 10 disciplines, which won more than 30% medals or at least more than one gold medal.
·        Asian women has the best performance of the history, collecting 98 medals at Rio.
·        Total of 16 Olympic records and six world records were broken by Asian athlete in Rio.
Asian domination was manifested in sports like archery where six gold medals were won where Korean won five and Taiwan one, accounting for 50% of entire available medals.
In athletics, Asian won 13 medals including four gold but are still placed behind America, Europe and Africa and accounting to 4% of medals won in this sport.
In aquatics, Asian captured 30 medals including 12 gold to be ranked behind America and Europe. It accounts for 21 percent of medals available. Asia was most successful in diving and synchronised swimming. In diving China dominated winning seven gold medals from an available of eight. Singapore won their first ever gold medal in swimming.
In badminton, Asia is totally dominating since the sport was introduced at the Los Angeles. Asian athletes won 86% of medals available so far and captured 73% of total medals in Rio.
Three different countries – China, Indonesia and Japan – captured four of the five gold medal. In women’s singles, India won its first ever silver medal in any women’s category, while Malaysia secured three medals – but all silver.
In boxing, Asia secured 33 percent of available medals and ranked only behind Europe. In terms of gold medals, America captured one more gold medal than both Asia and Europe. Uzbekistan was the best team after winning three gold out of seven available.
In judo although Asia is the leading country in Olympics history, this year Europe won an impressive eight gold medals and total of 25 medals. Asia won 23 medals with 3 gold medals and accounts for 42% of total medals.
Other Asian dominating sports included table tennis, taekwondo and weightlifting.
In terms of region, East Asian countries dominated and captured 69% of total medals with an impressive 50 gold medals. Central Asia won 8 gold medals and a total of 31 medals and South East Asian countries secured 5 gold and a total of 18 medals. West Asia won five gold and a total of 13 medals while South Asia won only one silver medal.
Among the Asian nations who won their first ever gold medal at the Olympic Games include Vietnam, Singapore, Bahrain, Jordan and Tajikistan.
Malaysia won four silver medals (three badminton and one in diving) and a bronze from cycling for their best ever performance in the Games.
It is now time to concentrate on sports where Asians have a realistic chance to win medals and above all to double if not triple our efforts on development of these sports and expose our athletes to high level competition and training with countries who have already made a mark in them.
It’s time for long term planning and stop basking in reflected glory.
It is going to be a tall order for Malaysia to match our collection or better at the next Olympics in Japan in 2020 and unless, we start working today, all our overdone rejoicing would come to nought.

TONY is a sports
Journalist close to
four decades of experience
and is passionate about
local sports.
He can be reached at

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