Interesting Facts About Asian Sports

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Soccer is the national sport of Myanmar (formerly Burma). Khin Maung Lwin (Secretary General of 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 champion in the 5th “Asian Games Bangkok 1966 and the 6th Asian Games Bangkok 1970, football became even more popular among our people. Apart from that, athletics, sepaktakraw and wushu are also popular in our country.”

Japan won five gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics: one in track and field and four in judo.

Susanthika Jayasinghe became the second athlete in Sri Lanka – formerly Ceylon – to win an Olympic Games medal when she won the silver medal in the 200m at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia. The great runner Susanthika won gold in the 100 and 200 meters at the 2007 Asian Championships in Amman, Jordan. At the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, she won the bronze medal in the 200 m. Susanthika was born on December 17, 1975 in Atnawala, Sri Lanka.

Bangkok (Thailand) has hosted four Asian Games (1966, 1970, 1978, 1998).

Pakistan sent 32 athletes to the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich (West Germany). Pakistani athletes competed in six sports (track and field, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, field hockey, sailing).

Sawao Kato was one of the greatest gymnasts of the 20th century. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kato won several international medals in Europe, Asia, and Mexico. At the 1968 Olympics, she won three gold medals in the individual all-around, floor exercise, and team competition.

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’s and women’s) was presented for the first time 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 – about 2 times the size of Massachusetts – has never won a medal in any sport at the Asian Games.

Jordan sent 7 athletes to the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. This Arab country participated in four sports: athletics (2), shooting (1), table tennis (1) and taekwondo (3).

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) hosted the 1975 Field Hockey Men’s World Championship. Final standings: 1.India, 2.Pakistan, 3.West Germany, 4.Malaysia, 5.Australia, 6.England, 7.New Zealand, 8.Spain, 9.Netherlands, 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 took place 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 soccer, volleyball, athletics and handball.

The 1962 Asian Games were held in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. As the host, Indonesia won a total of 48 medals and 9 golds. 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 in Athens, Greece. A sports journalist said: “On an extraordinary day in August during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hasher Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates claimed victory in the men’s doubles trap shooting event, equaling the Olympic record for 189 points previously set by Australia’s Russell Mark at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.”

Mongolia sent two women 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:

1. Brazil,



4.Serbia and Montenegro,


6. France,




10.United States,


12.Puerto Rico,


14.Czech Republic,

15. Cuba,


17 Chinese,

18. Greece,

19. South Korea,




23. Iran,


Japan has famous athletes: Ryoko Tani (judo), Takehiro Kashima (gymnastics), Kori Murofushi (track and field), Saori Yoshida (wrestling), Ayumi Tanimoto (martial arts), Mizuki Noguchi (marathon), Kosuke Kitajima (aquatics) , Ai Shibata (swimming), Hiroshi Yamamoto (archery).

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