1982 Asian Games: Know all about when India last hosted the Asiad

Sep 22, 2023 05:26 PM IST

The 1982 Asian Games was held in New Delhi, India. The opening ceremony took place in a packed JLN Stadium.

With the Asian Games 2023 opening ceremony scheduled for September 23, fans will be treated to some epic bonanza and entertainment in Hangzhou, China. The 19th edition of Asiad has already begun with events like cricket and football having taken place. The multi-sport continental showpiece event is organized by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), after the breakup of the Asian Games Federation (AGF). Until the 1978 Games, it was regulated by the AGF. Since the 1982 edition, it has been recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is among the biggest multi-sporting events in the world. This was also the last time the Asian Games was held in India.

A view of the opening ceremony at the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi where Geeta Zutshi takes the athletes’ oath. New Delhi became the only other nation joining Bangkok to host multiple iterations of the Asiad on this occasion.
A view of the opening ceremony at the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi where Geeta Zutshi takes the athletes’ oath. New Delhi became the only other nation joining Bangkok to host multiple iterations of the Asiad on this occasion.

With the IOC recognising it, the Asiad added international recognition to its profile and the 1982 Asian Games was a game-changer. It was the ninth edition and it was held in Delhi, India, from November 19 to December 4. Delhi also joined Bangkok as the cities to host multiple editions of the Asian Games up to this point and were later joined by Jakarta and Doha.

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The 9th edition of Asiad saw 74 Asian and Asian Games records broken and a total of 3,411 athletes participated in 196 events in 21 sports and 23 disciplines. Also, handball, equestrian, rowing and golf were included for the first time in the Games.

Logo, mascot and opening ceremony

The logo of the 1982 Asian Games was the image of Misra Yantra, which is one of the four distinct astronomical instruments of the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. The mascot was Appu, a young elephant based on a real-life one called 'Kuttinarayanan'.

Doordarshan started colour television broadcasts primarily for the 1982 Asian Games. It was a massive statement for the country. The Games was opened by India President Zail Singh and the athlete's oath was taken by Geeta Zutshi. The opening ceremony saw 75,000 people in attendance. The main stadium for the games was the JLN Stadium in New Delhi.

New Delhi given a makeover

New Delhi was also given a makeover for the 1982 Asian Games. The JLN Stadium was built specially for the event. New roads were also constructed and old ones were widened. Some of the other venues for the Games were Indraprastha Indoor Stadium, Pragati Maidan, Shivaji Hockey Stadium and Karni Singh Shooting Range. Meanwhile, sailing was held in the Arabian Sea, near Mumbai.

India at 1982 Asian Games

India finished fifth in the standings with 57 medals, which was the highest for the country until 2010. India impressed in track and field, gathering 21 medals including four gold.

The men's 800m saw Charles Borromeo clinch gold and MD Valsamma won the women's 400m hurdles, to become the second Indian woman to bag an Asian Games gold medal. PT Usha won silver medals in the women's 100m and 200m. Chand ram won gold in men's 20km walk and Bahadur Singh clinched victory in men's shot put. Despite such performances, it was overshadowed by the Indian men's hockey team's 1-7 thrashing by Pakistan in the final. The women's team remained unbeaten, scoring 37 goals and conceded only once to grab gold.

China's rise

The 1982 Asian Games also saw the rise of China's dominance. Japan had won the maximum number of medals in previous editions of the Games. But in 1982, China dethroned Japan as the top medallists. China amassed 153 medals in total, including 61 golds, 51 silver and 41 bronze. Meanwhile, Japan also took home 153 medals, but collected 57 gold, 52 silver and 44 bronze. China has been the defending winning team since then.

Medal tally (top-ten)

1. China: 153 medals (61 gold, 51 silver, 41 bronze)

2. Japan: 153 medals (57 gold, 52 silver, 44 bronze

3. South Korea: 93 medals (28 gold, 28 silver, 37 bronze)

4. North Korea: 56 medals (17 gold, 19 silver, 20 bronze)

5. India: 57 medals (13 gold, 19 silver, 25 bronze)

6. Indonesia: 15 medals (4 gold, 4 silver, 7 bronze)

7. Iran; 12 medals (4 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze)

8. Pakistan: 11 medals (3 gold, 3 silver, 5 bronze)

9. Mongolia: 7 medals (3 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze)

10. Philippines: 14 medals (2 gold, 3 silver, 9 bronze)

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