History of Asian Games, India at Asian Games

The history of Asian Games goes back to 1947 when the Asian Relations Conference held in New Delhi decided to organise an international games meet for Asian countries. This was planned in accordance to Olympic games – once in four years. Since then the games have grown to become Asiad – the biggest sports festival of Asia. Asian Athletic Federation was first formed in year 1949 in New Delhi. Guru Dutt Sodhi who was a member of Indian Olympic Committee played a pivotal role in bringing various sports personalities of Asian countries to a common platform of Asian Athletic Federation. This Federation paved the way for the inception of Asian Games eventually. Since the Asian Athletic Federation came to existence in New Delhi, this city was unanimously chosen to host the first edition of Asian Games in 1950. 11 Countries participated in the first edition of Asian Games held at 1951 in New Delhi.

Interesting Points about History of Asian Games

  1. There are 45 official participating members (countries) in Asian Games. Earlier this list was 46, but Israel was removed from Asian Games member countries after 1974 Asian Games of Tehran thus reducing total participating countries to 45. Reason why Israel was removed was cited as security reasons but it always remained vague.
  2. Some countries which geographically lie in both Continents of Asia and Europe like Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Armenia choose not to participate in Asian Games. These countries rather participate in European games.
  3. Egypt which lies both in Asia and Africa not participates in Asian games, rather it participates in African Games.
  4. Georgia and Israel which completely lie inside Asia as per geographic boundaries, participates in European Games.
  5. Palestine, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan although not a republic countries, still  participate as members of Asian Games.
  6. The recent most game which was introduced to Asian Games is Cricket which was included in year 2010.
  7. The recent most Asian Games of Incheon, South Korea witnesses total 44 different games.
  8. India stood at second position with 15 Gold medals, while Japan bagged the first position in the inaugural version of 1951 New Delhi Asian Games.

Motto, Emblem and Torch of Asian Games

History of Asian Games

Emblem of Asian Games

The Asian Games Federation  adopted “Ever Onward” as the motto of Asian Games. This motto was given by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru which continues till today. The official emblem of Asian Games consists of Bright Red Sun with 16 rays and white circle inside. This emblem is found in the logos of all version of Asian Games ever held.  The Maharaja of Patiala presented the torch and the Flag of first Asian Games and since then they have been carried from country to country.

Details of first Asian Games

History of Asian Games

Official Logo of First Asian Games

The first Asian games were held in New Delhi, India from 4 March to 11 March 1951. 11 countries participated in this event. 8 different types of sports and total 57 events were held in this first version of Asian Games. Logo of first Asian games consists of Red bright Sun with 11 rings representing 11 participating countries. Japan bagged the first position with 24 Golds, 21 Silver and 15 Bronze medals. India stood at second position with 15 Golds, 16 Silver and 20 Bronze medals. Iran came on third position with 8 Golds, 6 Silver and 2 Bronze. Different games which were organised in this event were i) Aquatics, ii) Swimming iii) Water Polo, iv) Athletics, v) Basketball, vi) cycling, vii) Football, viii) Weightlifting.

11 different participating countries were – i) Afghanistan, ii) Burma, iii) Ceylon (Sri Lanka), iv) India, v) Indonesia, vi) Iran, vii) Japan, viii) Nepal, ix) Phillippines, x)  Singapore, xi) Thailand.

History of Asian Games : Venue, Winner and India’s Position 

YearVenueCountryWinnerIndia's Position
1951New DelhiIndiaJapan (24 Gold, 21 Silver, 15 Bronze)2nd (15 Gold, 16 Silver, 20 Bronze)
1954ManilaPhillippinesJapan (38 Gold, 36 Silver, 24 Bronze)5th (5 Gold, 4 Silver, 8 Bronze)
1958TokyoJapanJapan (67 Gold, 41 Silver, 30 Bronze)7th (5 Gold, 4 Silver, 4 Bronze)
1962JakartaIndonesiaJapan (73 Gold, 56 Silver, 23 Bronze)3rd (10 Gold, 13 Silver, 10 Bronze)
1966BangkokThailandJapan (78 Gold, 53 Silver, 33 Bronze)5th (7 Gold, 3 Silver, 11 Bronze)
1970BangkokThailandJapan (74 Gold, 47 Silver, 23 Bronze)5th (6 Gold, 9 Silver, 10 Bronze)
1974TehranIranJapan 75Gold, 49 Silver, 51 Bronze7th (4 Gold, 12 Silver, 12 Bronze)
1978BangkokThailandJapan (70 Gold, 59 Silver, 49 Bronze)6th (11 Gold, 11 Silver, 6 Bronze)
1982New DelhiIndiaChina (61 Gold, 51 Silver, 41 Bronze)5th (13 Gold, 19 Silver, 25 Bronze)
1986SeoulSouth KoreaChina (94 Gold, 82 Silver, 46 Bronze)5th (5 Gold, 9 Silver, 23 Bronze)
1990BeijingChinaChina ( 183 Gold, 107 Silver, 51 Bronze)12 th (1 Gold, 8 Silver, 14 Bronze)
1994HiroshimaJapanChina (126 Gold, 83 Silver, 57 Bronze)8th (4 Gold, 3 Silver, 16 Bronze)
1998BangkokThailandChina (129 Gold, 78 Silver, 67 Bronze)9th (7 Gold, 11 Silver, 17 Bronze)
2002BusanSouth KoreaChina (150 Gold, 84 Silver, 74 Bronze) 7th (11 Gold, 12 Silver, 13 Bronze)
2006DohaQatarChina (165 Gold, 88 Silver, 63 Bronze)8th (10 Gold, 17 Silver, 26 Bronze)
2010GuangzhouChinaChina (199 Gold, 119 Silver, 98 Bronze)6th (14 Gold, 17 Silver, 34 Bronze)
2014IncheonSouth KoreaChina (151 Gold, 108 Silver, 85 Bronze)8th (11 Gold, 10 Silver, 36 Bronze)
2018Jakarta/PalembangIndonesiaTentativeTentative