Asiad notes

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star

The show goes on

HANGZHOU – Yes, the Chinese weather cooperated, paving the way for a smoother-than-expected staging of the formal opening ceremony for the 19th Asian Games. It’s been damp and cold and drizzling the past two days here, forcing organizers to devise a backup plan and an “abridged version” of the two-hour ceremony at a nearby indoor venue in case the rains fall. But the dazzling, one-of-a-kind show went on as planned with athletes from the 45 competing countries joining the traditional march. Then they were led to the stands, and were allowed to leave the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium by 9 p.m. if they wished. Those from Afghanistan were first to come out all the way down to athletes from Yemen. The Chinese, who have topped the Asian Games medal table 10 straight times from 1982, came out last. And not the least.

Koreans up next

HANGZHOU – The Philippine women’s football team got off on the right foot last Friday by scoring a 3-1 win over Hong Kong in the 19th Asian Games here. It was a strong message to the rest of the field that the Filipinas, fresh from a historic debut and first win in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, mean business. Sarina Bolden, the team’s golden striker, delivered her first Asian Games goal in the 8th minute while Quinley Quesada and Katrina Guillou scored the marginal goals in the 89th and 91st minute. Next up for the Filipinas are the South Koreans, bronze medalists in Jakarta in 2018, on Monday on a field located 150 kms away from the main hub here. On Saturday though, the Chinese, silver winners five years ago, delivered an even stronger message in the form of a 16-0 demolition of Mongolia. Japan is the reigning champion.

Base camp

HANGZHOU – The Main Media Center (MMC) for the Asian Games is so huge it can accommodate as many as 2,800 accredited media for print, digital and any other platform, on any given day for the duration of the Games. Known as “Base Camp” to mediamen from around the globe, it basically has everything the working press would need. Upon entering, mediamen will be greeted by a multi-screen, high-definition LED board almost the size of a basketball court. There are three blocks to the MMC – the main press center, international broadcasting center and the main broadcaster operation center. WiFi is not a problem inside the MMC: It’s 5G.

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