|XV Asian Games|
Slogan: "The Games of Your Life"
|Host city||Doha, Qatar|
|Events||424 in 39 sports|
|Opening ceremony||December 1 (Details)|
|Closing ceremony||December 15 (Details)|
|Officially opened by||Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani|
|Athlete's Oath||Mubarak Eid Bilal|
|Torch Lighter||Shiekh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani|
|Main venue||Khalifa International Stadium|
The 15th Asian Games, officially known as the XV Asiad, is Asia's Olympic-style sporting event that was held in Doha, Qatar from December 1 to December 15, 2006. Doha was the first city in its region and only the second in West Asia (following Tehran in 1974) to host the games. There were 46 disciplines from 39 events scheduled to be contested.
It was the first time that all 45 member nations of the Olympic Council of Asia took part in this event. Also, Eurosport broadcast the event, marking the first time that the European continent could watch this Asian sporting event.
On November 12, 2000, voting for the 2006 venue took place in Busan, South Korea. The voting involved the 41 members of the Olympic Council of Asia and consisted of three rounds, each round eliminating one of the bidding cities. After the first round, New Delhi was eliminated, with only two votes. The second round of voting, with three remaining candidates, gave Doha as the result.
|2006 Asian Games bidding results|
|City||NOC||Round 1||Round 2|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong, China||6||6|
Under the regulations of the OCA, a candidate which gains half of the available votes will automatically be selected as the host, and the remaining rounds of voting will be cancelled. When Doha gained 22 out of 41 votes this meant they were selected to host the 2006 Asian Games. Most of Qatar's votes came from the unanimous support from West Asian countries.
After the major upset, Malaysia and Hong Kong, China expressed their disappointment. Malaysia said that the selection of Doha was ridiculous and that the selection of Doha was influenced by Qatar's economic wealth.
Torch relay 
The relay itself started on October 8, 2006 with a brief ceremony at the Doha Golf Club "Flame of Hospitality". With the involvement of over 3000 persons, the torch crossed eight former Asian Games host countries and four Gulf Cooperation Council member states. The first pit stop was in New Delhi on October 11, 2006. In total the relay passed through 13 countries and 23 cities. The relay, which has a distance of 50,000 kilometres in 55 days, is the longest relay in the history of the Asian Games.
Below is a list of places visited by the torch:
- India – New Delhi
- South Korea – Busan
- Philippines – Manila
- Japan – Hiroshima
- China – Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau
- Indonesia – Jakarta
- Thailand – Bangkok
- Iran – Mashhad, Esfahan, Tehran
- Oman – Salalah, Muscat, Sohar
- United Arab Emirates – Hatta, Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi
- Kuwait – Kuwait City
- Bahrain – Manama
The torch travelled back to Doha held by Sheikh Joan Bin Hamad AL-Thani, and the journey around the city itself started on November 25, 2006 and lasted until the opening ceremony of the Games.
- Al-Arabi Sports Club Fencing, football (soccer), rugby sevens. table tennis
- Al-Dana Club – Bodybuilding, chess, weightlifting
- Al-Gharrafa Sports Club – Football (soccer), handball
- Al-Khor Road Course – cycling
- Al-Rayyan Sports Club – Baseball, football (soccer), field hockey, volleyball, softball
- Al-Sadd Sports Club – Cue sports, football (soccer), sepak takraw, water polo
- ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence – gymnastics, badminton, boxing, canoe, kayak, cycling, kabaddi, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, wrestling, wushu
- Basketball Indoor Hall – Basketball
- Corniche – Cycling, athletics, triathlon
- Doha Golf Club – Golf
- Doha Racing & Equestrian Club – Equestrian
- Doha Sailing Club – Sailing
- Hamad Aquatic Centre – Diving, swimming, synchronised swimming
- Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex – Soft Tennis, squash, tennis
- Khalifa Stadium – Athletics
- Lusail Shooting Complex – Archery, shooting
- Mesaieed Endurance Course – Equestrian Endurance
- Qatar Bowling Centre – Bowling
- Qatar Sports Club – Football (soccer), judo, karate, taekwondo
- The Sport City – Beach volleyball
- West Bay Lagoon – Rowing
In the following calendar for the 2006 Asian Games, each blue box represents an event competition, such as a qualification round, on that day. The yellow boxes represent days during which medal-awarding finals for a sport were held.
|●||Opening ceremony||Event competitions||●||Event finals||●||Closing ceremony|
|November / December 2006||29th
|Cycling – Road||1||1||2||1||5|
|Cycling – Track||2||2||1||1||3||3||12|
|Gymnastics – Artistic||1||1||2||5||5||14|
|Gymnastics – Rhythmic||1||1||2|
|Gymnastics – Trampoline||2||2|
|Volleyball – Beach||2||2|
|Volleyball – Indoor||1||1||2|
|Total gold medals||20||28||28||36||36||29||31||33||29||36||36||41||39||2||424|
|November / December 2006||29th
|Volleyball – Indoor|
Opening ceremony 
The opening ceremony was viewed by 50,000 spectators in the Khalifa International Stadium, and famous guests such as the International Olympic Committee's Jacques Rogge, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Syrian President Bashar Assad. The opening ceremony was directed by David Atkins, who conducted the 2000 Summer Olympics opener.
The opening ceremony presented the culture of the Arab World as well as other Asian cultures and their histories. Several musical artists performed. The ceremony ended with the lighting of the torch on the Aspire Tower.
The sport events contested at the 2006 Asian Games are listed below. Officially there are 46 disciplines from 38 sports in contention. All events listed started after the opening ceremony except Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Football (Soccer), Table tennis, and Volleyball, which had preliminaries before the opening ceremony.
Athlete's death 
South Korean equestrian athlete Kim Hyung-chil died after falling off his horse on the morning of December 7 during the cross country competition which took place in the rain. The accident occurred at jump number eight during the cross-country stage of the three-day eventing competition. After the horse, named Bundaberg Black, rolled over him, he was taken to the hospital, with his death later confirmed by the organizing committee. Kim died shortly before noon Qatar time .
According to South Korea National Olympic Committee president Kim Jung Kil, sources on the course said that the horse mistimed his jump in the wet conditions and slipped. South Korean officials are asking for an inquiry to determine if mismanagement or rain was the cause of the death.
"In my professional opinion, neither the weather nor the footing had any bearing on this accident. If the horse falls, it's like two tons of bricks falling on you. There is nothing you can do about it," said Andy Griffiths, the Games event's technical overseer.
This is the eighth death linked to the 2006 Asian Games, and the first involving an athlete.
Closing ceremony 
The closing ceremony featured the Arabic stories of a thousand years ago. It started with the same young boy as the "Seeker" in the opening ceremony. He flew on a magic carpet to a book of Arabian stories. "A Thousand and One Nights" featured stories such as Haroun Al-Raschid and the Dervish, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Sinbad the Sailor and Aladdin and his Marvellous Lamp. The show used an array of dancers, horses, and special effects to portray the different stories. After that, the segment of "Land of the Oryx" was shown with the whirling of dance.
All 45 nations' athletes entered the stadium after the show's end. Park Tae-Hwan was announced as the best athlete of the Games, having won seven medals, three of them being golds from the swimming competitions. The ceremony also included a minute of silence in homage to the South Korean equestrian rider Kim Hyung-chil, who died during the competition.
After that, the OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah officially announced the Games closed and passed the OCA flag to the mayor of Guangzhou, Zhang Guangning, as the host of the next Asian Games in 2010.
A special 10 minutes in the final part of the closing ceremony showed a new China, known as "Oriental Charm", which featured Chinese culture. Followed by the theme song of the Game "Triumph of the One" sung by Lea Salonga from the Philippines. Afterwards, fireworks blazed around the stadium and brought the curtains down on the Games. The breath-taking fireworks display is also one of the most expensive fireworks display in multi-sports event.
Medal table 
The top ten ranked NOCs at these Games are listed below. The host nation, Qatar, is highlighted.
|2||South Korea (KOR)||58||52||82||192|
|10||Chinese Taipei (TPE)||9||10||27||46|
Participating nations 
All 45 OCA members participated in the Games. The number in parentheses indicates the number of participants that the National Olympic Committee contributed.
Despite the spectacular opening ceremony, which received high praise, there was some criticism by some delegations and athletes. Heavy rain poured down just after the end of opening ceremony, and many believed that the organizers did not have plans to deal with it, creating a chaotic situation. Chef de Mission of the Philippines, Butch Ramirez, said that some of the members of the Philippine delegation, including athletes, were soaked in the rain because the organising officials did not allow them to re-enter the covered stadium for shelter; instead they had to stay in the heavy rain for more than 30 minutes. He went on to say that the breakdown in transportation protocols due to the rain caused the athletes to rush to the nearest bus station, exposing them to rain. Ramirez said that he himself was a victim of pushing and shoving due to this chaos, and that because of it, he suffered from an asthma attack.
According to one IOC insider who arrived back at his hotel soaked, this incident hurt the chances of Doha hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, which Doha applied for on 25 October 2007, and lost on 4 June 2008 when they were eliminated from the pool. Transportation was one of the crucial factors involved in the decision process.
The list of athletes who failed the doping test during the Games:
- Myanmar's Than Kyi Kyi, the 48 kilogram weightlifter, tested positive for a banned diuretic.
- Oo Mya Sanda, also of Myanmar, silver medalist for 75 kilogram weightlifting, tested positive for a metabolite.
- Uzbekistan's Elmira Ramileva, the 69 kilogram weightlifter, tested positive for an anabolic steroid.
- Alexander Urinov, also of Uzbekistan, the 105 kilograms weightlifter, tested positive for cannabis.
- Iraq's Saad Faeaz, a bodybuilder, disqualified from the Games after a banned steroid was found in his luggage in Doha International Airport.
- Bahrain's Sayed Faisal Husain, silver medalist for 70 kilogram bodybuilding tested positive.
- Korea's Kim Myong-Hun, silver medalist for 90 kilogram bodybuilding tested positive.
Gender test 
- India's Santhi Soundarajan, silver medalist for women's 800 metre run, was officially stripped of her medal after she failed a gender test.
Bed shortage 
The Games' organizers faced significant bed shortages due to the record number of more than 13,000 athletes and officials who attended the 2006 Games. The Athletes' Village had space for only 10,500 people and was not large enough to accommodate the record amount of attendees. To resolve the problem, organizers contracted with three cruise ships to provide sleeping quarters.
Last minute withdrawals 
The Football competition lost three teams due to withdrawals and a suspension, which resulted rescheduling of the format and draws. Following the withdrawal of Maldives women's football team in early November, the women's football competition was forced to redraw to ensure both groups had an equal number of teams. Not much later, Turkmenistan announced their withdrawal due to the lack of options available in Qatar. Yemen also withdrew because the team was unable to afford a drug test after some of their players were accused of doping.
India made big changes to its team close to the opening ceremonies. On November 22, 2006, the Indian sports dropped eight of the 32 events they had previously announced that they would be contesting in the Games. The dropped events were football, basketball, handball, sepak takraw, triathlon, ten-pin bowling and rugby sevens. The events were dropped due to the lack of medal hopes and to cut costs. As a result, 387 athletes were sent to Doha instead of the original 589 proposed by the Indian Olympic Association.
While volleyball also had three teams withdraw from the Games, Palestine withdrew due to the travelling difficulties caused by the closure of the Gaza Strip border. Indonesia and Turkmenistan also withdrew from the tournament, for unknown reasons, just hours before their first preliminary round match.
See also 
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- 香港申亚失败心不服, 体育周报, November 13, 2000
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