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Asian Games

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The Asian Games, officially known as Asiad, is a multi-sport event held every four years among athletes from all over Asia. The Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation (AGF) from the first Games in New Delhi, India, until the 1982 Games. Since the 1982 they have been organized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), after the break-up of the Asian Games Federation. The Games are recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and are described as the second largest multi-sport event after the Olympic Games.

Participation

All 45 members affiliated to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) are eligible to take part in the Games. In history, 46 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have sent competitors to the Games. Israel has been excluded from the Games since 1976, the reason cited as being due to security reasons. Israel requested to participate in the 1982 Games, but the request was rejected by the organisers due to incident in 1972 Summer Olympics. Israel is now a member of the European Olympic Committees (EOC).
Due to its continuing ambiguous political status, Taiwan has participated in the Games under the flag of Chinese Taipei since 1990. Macau is allowed to compete as one of the NOCs in Asian Games, despite not being recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for participation in the Olympic Games.
In 2007, the President of OCA, Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, rejected the proposal to allow Australia to participate in the Games. He stated that while Australia would add good value to the Asian Games, it would be unfair to the other NOCs in Oceania.
Only seven countries, namely India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand have competed in all editions of the games.

Medal count

Of the 46 National Olympic Committees participating throughout the history of the Games, 43 nations have won at least a single medal in the competition, leaving three nations: Bhutan, Maldives and Timor-Leste yet to win a single medal. 34 nations have won at least a single gold medal, while Japan and China became the only two nations in history to emerge as overall champions.

Future changes

The number of competition events is scheduled to shrink down to just 35 sports at the 2014 Games to be held in Incheon, South Korea. 2014 will also see the last Games hosted in even-numbered years, as the Olympic Council of Asia pushed the subsequent Games to just one year ahead of the Olympic Games. This means the 18th Asian Games which were originally planned for 2018 will be pushed to 2019.

 

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