The 19th edition of the Asian Games had been eagerly anticipated by sports enthusiasts worldwide. Originally slated for 2022, China’s stringent zero-Covid measures caused a one-year delay. However, the event has finally arrived, with over 12,000 athletes representing more than 45 nations competing in 40 sports disciplines. On the 23rd of September, the grand opening ceremony took place at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre, beginning at 5.30 PM IST.
Where to Watch the Spectacle?
For those wanting to witness this extravaganza, the Asian Games Opening Ceremony was broadcasted live on the Sony Sports Network. Additionally, live streaming was available through the Sony LIV app or website. DD Sports also streamed the ceremony in India, ensuring fans didn’t miss out on this grand event.
Flag-Bearers and India’s Strong Contingent
India, sending its largest-ever contingent of 655 athletes across 39 sports disciplines, had a memorable moment as Indian Men’s Hockey captain Harmanpreet Singh and Tokyo Olympic Bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain proudly led the nation at the opening ceremony. India had high hopes for their performance at the Asiad.
A Protest Amidst Celebration
However, amid the celebrations, there was a somber note. India had raised its voice against China’s decision to deny visas to athletes from Arunachal Pradesh. This dispute led to India’s Sports Minister Anurag Thakur canceling his travel plans to the opening ceremony as a mark of protest. It served as a reminder of the complexities that can sometimes accompany international sporting events.
Innovations and Sustainability: A New Kind of Opening Ceremony
The Asian Games Opening Ceremony in Hangzhou promised to be a departure from tradition. Instead of the usual grand display of fireworks, organizers chose a more sustainable approach with electronic smokeless fireworks, aligning with their go-green initiative. Spectators were treated to Nake-eye 3D visual effects, virtual imagery, and a groundbreaking digital torch-lighting ceremony. Millions of online-registered digital torch-bearers transformed into digital human figures, bridging the gap between the real and virtual worlds in a stunning performance.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Declaration
The opening ceremony held another historic moment as Chinese President Xi Jinping officially declared the games open. The event was a fusion of China’s rich culture and heritage, featuring folk songs and dances from 11 different cities in Zhejiang province.
Artificial Intelligence and Eco-Friendly Technologies
Amid the grandeur and tradition, the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre showcased the future with performances seamlessly integrating artificial intelligence and eco-friendly technologies. It was a testament to China’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.
The 19th Asian Games opening ceremony in Hangzhou, China, was a blend of tradition and innovation, marked by protests and celebrations. It set the stage for an exciting and memorable sporting event, with athletes from across Asia competing at the highest level, while also highlighting the importance of sustainability in today’s world.
Outcomes of all Indian performances on September 22 at the 2023 Asian Games
Balraj Panwar was among nine Indian rowers who advanced to the rowing final. The Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 officially commenced on September 23rd, with some sports like cricket, football, volleyball, sailing, and more beginning on September 19.
The Indian rowing contingent continued its strong performance, with nine rowers securing spots in the finals. Meanwhile, the Indian men’s volleyball team made an impressive start by defeating WR-43 Chinese Taipei 3-0, earning a spot in the quarterfinals.
- Men’s Kite – IKA Formula Kite – Chitresh Tatha finished 7th with 34 points
- Men’s Dinghy ILCA7 – Vishnu Saravanan finished 1st with 7 points
- Mixed Multihull Nacra 17 – Inder Doiphode/Ramya Saravanan finished 4th with 16 points
- Women’s Windsurfer RS:X – Ishwariya Ganesh finished 4th with 18 points
- Women’s Single Dinghy ILCA6 – Nethra Kumanan finished 4th with 12 points
- Men’s Windsurfer RS:X – Eabad Ali finished 4th with 18 points
- Men’s Windsurfing iQFoil – Jerome Kumar Savarimuthu finished 7th with 37 points
- Women’s Skiff 49erFX – Harshita Tomar/Shital Verma finished 3rd with 14 points
- Mixed Dinghy – 470 – Preeti Kongara/Shekhar Sudhanshu finished 6th with 13 points
- Girl’s Dinghy ILCA4 – Neha Thakur finished 2nd with 7 points
- Men’s Skiff – 49er – Ganapathy Kelapanda/Varun Ashok finished 4th with 16 points
- Boy’s Dinghy ILCA4 – Adhvait Menon finished 6th with 14 points
Balraj Panwar (Men’s Singles Sculls) finished 3rd with a timing of 7:22.22, qualifying for the finals.
Mayank Chaphekar is ranked 13th with 1005 points after completing 3 events (Men’s individual Fencing bonus round, Men’s individual Swimming, and Men’s individual Laser Run).
The Indian Men’s Team defeated higher-ranked Chinese Taipei 3-0, securing a spot in the quarterfinals of the Asian Games 2023. Despite trailing by five points in the first set, India turned the tide and won the set 25-22. They also won the other two sets by scores of 25-22 and 25-21. In the next match, India will face Japan, the top-ranked team in Asia, in the quarterfinals.
Men’s Team (Preliminary Round | Group F): Sharath Achanta Kamal / Sathiyan Gnanasekaran/ Harmeet Desai achieved a dominant victory over the Yemen Team with a score of 3-0 and continued their strong performance by defeating the Singapore Team 3-1.
Women’s Team (Preliminary Round | Group F)
Ayhika Mukherjee/ Manika Batra/ Sreeja Akula secured a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Singapore Women’s Team, marking their first team win since the Commonwealth Games 2018.