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Asian Games

Asian Games: History, first edition, sports, mascots

Asian Games has been the world's second largest multi-nation sports event since 1951. India, who hosted the first edition, are 5th on the all-time medal tally.

Asian Games: History, first edition, sports, mascots

Former Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurates the first Asian Games in 1951


Deepanshu Jain

Published: 13 Sep 2023 11:48 AM GMT

The Asian Games, also known as the Asiad, is the second largest sporting event in the world after the Olympics. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) organises this event every four years since the 1982 Asian Games. Before 1982, these Games had organised by Asian Games Federation (AGF), which broke up after the 1978 Asian Games.

On 4 March 1951, the first edition of Asian Games took place in the capital city of India, the New Delhi. Eleven Asian countries took part. There were six sports in the roster - Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Football and Weightlifting. Japan topped the first ever Asiad medal tally and hosts India took the second position.

Since then, there have been 18 editions of the Asian Games so far hosted by nine countries. The last edition was held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018. China will host the 19th edition from 23 September.

READ | How the Asian Games began: Revisiting the dawn of an India-led sports movement

Japan won the first eight editions of Asian Games from 1951 to 1978. Since then, China has dominated the Asian Games. They have won all previous 10 editions and are set to top the tally at home to make it an 11th consecutive time.

China is at the top of the all-time Asian Games medal tally following by Japan and South Korea. India is currently at fifth position with 672 medals, most of them from Athletics (254).

Number of sports in Asian Games

Fifty-one sports have been part of the Asian Games in the 18 editions. The Jakarta 2018 Games was the one which featured the most sports, as 46 out of the total 51 sports were contested.

Only four sports - Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball and Football - have been contested in all the editions of Asian Games.

Here is the list of all sports which were part of Asian Games at least once: Aquatics, Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Board games, Bodybuilding, Bowling, Boxing, Canoeing, Contract bridge, Cricket, Cue sports, Cycling, Dancesport, Dragon boat, Equestrian, Fencing, Field hockey, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Handball, Judo, Jujitsu, Kabaddi, Karate, Kurash, Modern pentathlon, Paragliding, Pencak silat, Roller sports, Rowing, Rugby sevens, Sailing, Sambo, Sepak takraw, Shooting, Sport Climbin,Softball, Soft tennis, Squash, Table tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Wrestling, Wushu.

2023 Asian Games mascots

Mascots At Asian Games

Since the 1982 Asian Games, the Asian Games have had a mascot for every edition, usually an animal native to the host country representing the cutural heritage.

1982-Appu-Indian Elephant


1990-Pan Pan-Panda

1994-Poppo Cuccu-Two doves

1998-Chai yo-Thai Elephant


2006-Orry-Qatari Oryx

2010-Five Goat Rams

2014-Three Spotted Seals

2018-Bhin Bhin, Atung, Kaka

2022-Three Futuristic Robots

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