Asia has produced many of the top players of all-time in various fields of sports games. Just to name a few of them, will give an idea of their unprecedented capabilities.
China’s Sun Yang (retired now) is considered the greatest swimmer of all time who holds the world record for freestyle of 1500m. Yang is several times Olympic gold medalist and world champion.
Yao Ming, the Chinese legend of the basketball is glorified as Meme and is the most beloved player in the history of the NBA.
The National baseball team of Japan won the 2006 and 2009 National baseball classic. The name of Ichiro Suzuki is known as the king of the baseball. This left-handed hitter will remain in history with his brilliant baseball career.
In the cricket world Tendulkar, the greatest batsman of all time is honored at the level of Pele and Michael Jordan.
But what are the most popular sports in Asia?
- Soccer– The most popular sport in Asia! But South Korea stands above the rest of Asia as the best soccer nation on the continent. Nagatomo from Japan shows great consistency in Inter and is the best full-backs for the last five years.
- Cricket– One of the most popular games in Asia, where the Asia Cup is held every two years. The highest status in cricket keep countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka
- Volleyball – China women’s national volleyball team is one of the leading teams worldwide with Olympic titles in 2003 and gold medal in 2004 in the Summer Olympics.
- Hockey – the national game of India and Pakistan- hockey is the oldest sports activity in the history
- Badminton – being a top 5 sport in China. Today, some of the finest badminton players belong to countries like China, Japan, Pakistan, India, Philippines, and Honk Kong.
- Polo – Shandur Polo Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Pakistan in which the polo match is played and has the highest polo ground in the world. It is a version of polo without a lot of restraint and has its Asian name ‘’Mas Junali’’.
The new game: Bandy
Bandy is a form of hockey with a small ball and is influenced by the rules of soccer. The field is the same size as in European football, two games of 45 minutes and 11 players on each team. In the Philippines, bandy has its own version called rink bandy by Swedish origin.
Unusual sports in Asia
- Buzkashi – is much like polo, but instead of mallets and ball, the game involves the carcass of goat or calf.
- Sepak Takraw – essentially a volleyball without using hands and arms but only feet, head, knees and chest.
- Kurash – the most ancient kind of combat rooted in Uzbekistan and is the traditional wrestling.
- Kabaddi – regarded as a national India sport but played also in Central Asia. Kabaddi is a version of ‘’tag’’ (chase) game
Interestingly enough, the second largest sports event in the world after the Olympics is the Asiad. It is again held every 4 years but is restricted only to Asian participants. The last such event was held in South Korea.