Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games: Top moments

The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games saw 3,020 athletes compete in 502 medal events for six intense days in October 2023 30 Oct 2023
Four female athletes with running blades look to their left side
The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games took place between 22 and 28 October
ⒸHangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games closed on 28 October 2023 with a spectacular ceremony. The Games, which featured more than 3,000 athletes from the region, saw countless athletic feats and sporting history made in the eastern Chinese city.

Hosts China put on an exceptional show in front of a home crowd and finished atop the overall medals table with 214 gold, 167 silver and 140 bronze medals. The Islamic Republic of Iran finished second with 44 gold, 46 silver and 41 bronze, and Japan was third with 42 gold, 49 silver and 59 bronze.

Here are the some of the top moments from the Asian Para Games.

Jiang Yuyan takes seven gold medals

Para swimmer Jiang Yuyan captured seven gold medals and finished the Games as the most successful athlete in Hangzhou. The home favourite launched her campaign with a victory in the women’s 100m backstroke S6 on 23 October and went on to win medals in all eight of her events, including a bronze in the women’s 200m individual medley SM6 event.

Para swimmer Jiang Yuyan won the most gold medals in Hangzhou. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

“As a Para athlete, I want to show everyone that as long as we work hard, we will shine. We want to prove to our friends with disabilities that we can also participate in sports, find our positions in society, bravely step out of our homes, be involved in society and truly achieve inclusiveness between disabled and able-bodied individuals,” she said in Hangzhou.

Records tumble in Hangzhou

Twenty world records, 71 Asian records and 279 Asian Games record were broken in Hangzhou. In Para athletics, Sumit Antil registered 73.29 metres in the men’s javelin throw F64 final, throwing further than his own world record of 70.83m. In Para powerlifting, China’s Tan Yujiao lifted 141kg to beat her previous world record of 140.5kg in the women’s -67kg event.

Tan celebrated after winning the women's -67kg event. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

“With my family, friends and leaders present at the scene today, I hoped to perform better than usual. Deep breathing before each attempt is in fact my habit, and I did so as before. But today I felt more inner power in myself, seeking for a better performance,” Tan said.

Iran continues to dominate in sitting volleyball

Iran continued to dominate in men’s sitting volleyball, beating Kazakhstan 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-18) in the final. The team, coached by three-time Paralympian Hadi Rezaeigarkani, was unbeaten in all five of their matches in Hangzhou. 

Since the men’s sitting volleyball event was introduced at the Paralympic Games at Arnhem 1980, Iran have topped the podium seven times, including at the most recent Tokyo 2020 Games.

Iran has been a dominant force in sitting volleyball. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

“Being a champion is sweet. This win is even sweeter for us because of the new members who have joined our team,” captain Davoud Alipourian said.

In the women’s event, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medallists China took the gold medal. Iran captured the silver medal and Japan took bronze.

Japan wins wheelchair basketball thriller

On the wheelchair basketball court, Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medallists Japan defeated the Republic of Korea 47-45 in a thrilling men’s final at HOC Gymnasium. Japan came from behind in the final quarter, with Koki Maruyama scoring a decisive two-pointer with less than two minutes remaining in the match.

“Our whole team has put in a lot of time to make appropriate preparations for today’s game and although there were conflicts among the players during the match, we all worked towards the same goal,” Japan star Renshi Chokai told a post-match press conference.

Japan came from behind to beat the Republic of Korea in the final. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

“There is still a long way to the Paris Paralympics, and we have found many problems through this competition, for example, the whole team’s offense has to be strengthened, and we will take these problems to prepare for the Paris Paralympics.” 

The Islamic Republic of Iran took bronze following a 79-35 win over China. In the women’s tournament, China defeated Japan 61-30 in the gold medal match on 26 October, while Thailand finished with the bronze.

Khaiitkhon Khusan Kyzy takes first gold for Kyrgyzstan

Para judoka Khaiitkhon Khusan Kyzy made history for Kyrgyzstan by winning the country’s first-ever gold medal at the Asian Para Games. In the women’s -48kg J1 final, Khusan Kyzy, who took up the sport about two years ago, beat Japan’s Shizuka Hangai by ippon.

Khaiitkhon Khusan Kyzy became her Kyrgyzstan's first Asian Para Games gold medallist. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

“I’m satisfied with my performance and it’s good,” Khusan Kyzy said “I like judo and my coach has helped me a lot. It’s my first time in Hangzhou, and I like it.”

In Hangzhou, Yemen, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan won their first Asian Para Games medals. 

Baby on the podium

While there were countless sporting feats, the Asian Para Games also had some heart-warming storylines. After earning the silver medal in the P2 – women’s 10m air pistol SH1 final just a few months after giving birth, Iran's Sareh Javanmardi celebrated on the podium with her baby.

The three-time Paralympic champion was joined by her baby on the podium in Hangzhou. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

“I am so happy that my child is with me. This is the first competition after his birth and I took my first medal with him. I am so happy that he is with me in this ceremony,” the three-time Paralympic champion said.

A stuffed toy of the Games mascot Feifei was given to the baby during the victory ceremony.

Paris 2024 tickets booked

The Asian Para Games served as an important stop on the road to the Paris 2024 Paralympics. In wheelchair tennis, Tokito Oda and Yui Kamiji of Japan booked tickets to Paris 2024 by winning the men’s and women’s singles, respectively, in Hangzhou.

Oda beat compatriot Takashi Sanada 6-3, 7-5 to book a spot for his first Paralympic Games. Kamiji, the silver medallist in the women’s singles at Tokyo 2020, is set to compete at her fourth Paralympics.

“I played well in this competition, and I won the gold medal as expected. I’m very happy,” said the 17-year-old Oda, who won two Grand Slam titles this year.

Tokito Oda is set to make his Paralympic debut at Paris 2024. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

In Para table tennis, winners in each of the singles competition (excluding WS1) also secured a slot. The Asian champions include seven-time Paralympic gold medallist Feng Panfeng of China and Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Young Dae Joo of the Republic of Korea.

Thailand impresses in boccia

Thai athletes took three of the eight gold medals on offer in boccia’s individual events, cementing the country’s status as a powerhouse in Asia. Witsanu Huadpradit took the men’s individual BC1 finals against Kim Dohyun of the Republic of Korea, before Akkadej Choochuenklin took the men’s individual BC3 gold and Pornchok Larpyen won the men’s individual BC4 gold.

Witsanu Huadpradit won the men's individual BC1 event. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games

Para canoe and Para taekwondo debut

At Hangzhou 2022, Para taekwondo and Para canoe were staged at the Asian Para Games for the first time, allowing athletes to showcase their sport to more people in Asia and raise recognition of the sports.

“Taekwondo is not a well-known sport so we need to try to raise awareness about the sport. Asian Para Games are a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness and let everyone know that people with disability can also take part in other things,” said China’s Para taekwondo athlete Shao Qian.

Para taekwondo featured 10 medal events at the Asian Para Games. @Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games