INCHEON: The Asian Games end with a spectacular ceremony on Saturday but not before the last few medals are handed out, with China aiming to break the 150 gold mark.
China go into the last day at the top of the medal standings with 149 golds and will be confident of wins for Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen in the men’s and women’s table tennis singles finals.
The powerhouse Chinese are well clear of their nearest rivals but their total is well down on the 199 golds they managed when they hosted the last Games in Guangzhou in 2010.
Their table tennis stars Liu for the women and Xu in the men’s event are favourites to add to the gold rush, though Feng Tianwen of Singapore could give Liu a run for her money if both make it through their semi-finals.
There are three medals to be decided in karate, the men’s under 84kg and over 84kg and the women’s under 50kg.
The soft tennis men’s and women’s team medals will also be decided.
K-Pop artist Big Bang headlines the closing ceremony, which will see the Olympic Council of Asia flag formally handed over to the next host city, Jakarta.
Between now and 2018 there will be some soul searching over how to attract crowds to Asiad stadiums after Games in Doha, Guangzhou and now Incheon marked by a multitude of empty seats.
But OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah insisted in an interview with AFP ahead of the last day that the Games will not be reduced for Jakarta.
“The Games should be this size, not less. We try to decrease the operation costs, but not the style of the Games,” the Kuwaiti said.