The Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games threw up highlights aplenty as almost 3,000 of the best athletes in the continent went head-to-head for medal glory. There were records broken and history was made over the eight days of competition, which ended on Saturday (13 October). Here are some of our favourite moments.
Unified Korean Team makes history
Indonesia 2018 was a landmark event before the first medal was even handed out, as North and South Korea marched together at the Opening Ceremony in a world-first for a Para sport event. But the history did not end there; the two countries not only competed together in swimming and table tennis as the Unified Korean Team, but they also claimed a stunning bronze medal in the pool. Their podium finish in the men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay 34 points raised the roof of the GBK Aquatic Centre on the second night of competition.
Home happiness for Indonesia
The hosts enjoyed their best performance at an Asian Para Games, finishing fifth in the overall medals table with an unprecedented 37 golds and backed by a raucous, passionate home support. Nowhere was this more in evidence than at the badminton arena, where fans cheered them on to six golds, including the first and last medals of the competition.
Iran’s Ehsan Mousanezhad Karmozdi had the ultimate in dream debuts at Indonesia 2018. The judoka, who had only been competing in the sport since 2017, fought a thrilling final in the men’s -100kg against reigning Paralympic and Asian Para Games champion, Choi Gwang Geun. The former powerlifter won the hearts of the Indonesian fans as he battled to a stunning gold medal win over the defending champion in one of the biggest shocks of the Games.
Surprise secret to success
Veteran South Korean wheelchair tennis player Kyu-Seung Kim went into the final of the quad singles as the undisputed underdog. Facing the number one seed Koji Sugeno, and having lost the second set after a good start, Kim’s chances of gold looked over. But the 54-year-old diabetic had a secret weapon in his bag – a can of cola. A drop in his blood sugar level in the second set led to a quick drinks break, and the results could not have been better as he stormed to a 6-1 win in the deciding third set to claim an emotional gold.
There were many stunning individual performances in the pool during Indonesia 2018, and Uzbekistan’s Amilova Fotimakhon was one of the best. Not only did she win seven medals including four golds, but she also set two new world records in the space of two days; in the women’s individual medley SM13 and the women’s 100m breaststroke SB13, where she knocked an impressive three seconds off the previous mark.
China’s golden century
It may have been expected that China would top the medals table at Indonesia 2018, but the scale of their dominance was remarkable. They claimed a stunning 172 gold medals during the Games, surpassing the century mark on the fourth full day of competition, setting world records in athletics, powerlifting and swimming along the way. Their women’s wheelchair basketball team claimed gold with a 100 percent win record, while their women’s sitting volleyball side successfully retained their Asian Para Games title.