Qatar carried its flag proudly at the opening cermeony, with over 185 athletes competing in 27 different sports.
The long awaited Asian Games officially opened on Sunday, having been rescheduled from last year due to coronavirus restrictions in the city of Hangzhou. The games will feature 12,000 athletes from over 45 nations who will be competing in 40 sports.
Xi Jinping, president of the People’s Republic of China opened the ceremony, as well as many other world leaders and officials, include Qatar’s Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, Second Vice-President of the committee, Dr Thani bin Abdul Rahman al-Kuwari, Secretary-General Jassim bin Rashid al-Buainain and more.
Qatar carried its flag proudly, with over 185 athletes competing in 27 different sports. The flag bearers were triathlete Tamim Jamal al-Kuwari and dressage rider Maryam al Buainain.
Athletes looking to retain their fine Asian Games form are highly rated high jumper Mutaz Barsham, who famously won gold at the Tokyo 2020 olympics alongside Italian counterpart Gianmarco Tamberi.
Fares Ibrahim, who won silver in the last Asian Games edition in Jakarta and achieved gold in Tokyo, is also expected to outperform in Hangzhou.
Although the games officially started on Saturday, many sports kicked off days before.
Highly rated Qatari beach volleyball players Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, who are currently ranked third in the official world rankings, qualified for the round of 16 after beating Philippines 2-0 on Friday.
Also, Mahmoud Essam and Abdullah Naseem, Qatar’s second volleyball duo are looking to cement their positions as the ones to beat, as they breezed past Macau to also qualify to the round of 16 on Thursday.
This is officially the biggest edition of the games to date, and the opening ceremony certainly did not disappoint.
The show lasted over an hour and a half, and focused heavily on a theme of being environmentally friendly, showcasing China’s rich culture and history.
Dazzling water and futuristic light shows wowed onlookers in the city of Hangzhou, considered the greenest city in China.
BEIN Sports will show live coverage of the games throughout the duration of the competition, which ends on the 8 October.
A particular focus will be given to the participating Arab nations, including Qatar, so fans in the MENA region can stay close to the action and support their country.