2006 Asian Games

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XV Asian Games
Logo of the 2006 Asian Games
Host city Doha, Qatar
Motto The Games of Your Life
(Arabic: دورة الالعاب من حياتك‎)
Nations participating 45
Athletes participating 9,520[1]
Events 424 in 39 sports
Opening ceremony December 1 (Details)
Closing ceremony December 15 (Details)
Officially opened by Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Emir of Qatar
Officially closed by Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah
President of the Olympic Council of Asia
Athlete's Oath Mubarak Eid Bilal
Judge's Oath Abd Allah Al-Bulooshi
Torch lighter Shiekh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani
Main venue Khalifa International Stadium
Busan 2002 Guangzhou 2010  >

The 2006 Asian Games (Arabic: دورة الألعاب الآسيوية ٢٠٠٦‎, Dawrat al-ʼAl‘ab al-Asīawīah 2006), officially known as the XV Asiad, was an Asian multi-sport event held in Doha, Qatar from December 1 to 15, 2006 with 424 events in 39 sports and disciplines featured in the games. Doha was the first city in its region and only the second in West Asia (following Tehran in 1974) to host the games.

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.[2]

The final medal tally was led by China followed by South Korea and Japan with host Qatar at 9th place. Several world and Asian records were broken during the games. Though there were several controversies such as the death of South Korean equestrian rider Kim Hyung-chil in a fatal accident during the competition, the games were deemed generally successful with the rising standard of competition amongst the Asian nations.


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.[3][4] 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.[5]

The Athletes' Village during the 2006 Asian Games
2006 Asian Games bidding results
City NOC Round 1 Round 2
Doha Qatar Qatar 20 22
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Malaysia 13 13
Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong, China 6 6
New Delhi India India 2

Under the regulations of the OCA, a candidate which gains more than 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.[6]

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.[5][7]

Torch relay[edit]

The torch relay has been integral to the Asian Games since 1958. The plans for the Doha 2006 torch relay were revealed by the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee on January 20, 2006.[8]

The relay itself started on October 8, 2006 with a brief ceremony at the Doha Golf Club "Flame of Hospitality".[9] With the involvement of over 3000 persons, the torch crossed eight former Asian Games host countries and four Gulf Cooperation Council member states.[8] The first pit stop was in New Delhi on October 11, 2006. In total the relay passed through 13 countries and 23 cities.[10][11] The relay, which has a distance of 50,000 kilometres in 55 days, is the longest relay in the history of the Asian Games.[8]

Route of the torch relay

Below is a list of places visited by the torch:[10]

  1. India IndiaNew Delhi
  2. South Korea South KoreaBusan
  3. Philippines PhilippinesManila
  4. Japan JapanHiroshima
  5. China ChinaBeijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau
  6. Indonesia IndonesiaJakarta
  7. Thailand ThailandBangkok
  8. Iran IranMashhad, Esfahan, Tehran
  9. Oman OmanSalalah, Muscat, Sohar
  10. United Arab Emirates United Arab EmiratesHatta, Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi
  11. Kuwait KuwaitKuwait City
  12. Bahrain BahrainManama

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.


Official mascot of 2006 Asian Games

The Doha Asian Games Organising Committee chose "Orry", a Qatari Oryx, as the official mascot of the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006.[12]


Khalifa Stadium, the main venue of the games
A giant statue of Orry in the Doha Corniche


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
Archery pictogram.svg Archery 1 1 2 4
Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics 2 4 10 10 9 10 45
Badminton pictogram.svg Badminton 2 1 4 7
Baseball pictogram.svg Baseball 1 1
Basketball pictogram.svg Basketball 1 1 2
Bodybuilding pictogram.svg Bodybuilding 4 4 8
Bowling pictogram.svg Bowling 2 2 2 4 2 12
Boxing pictogram.svg Boxing 5 6 11
Canoeing (flatwater) pictogram.svg Canoeing 4 6 10
Chess pictogram.svg Chess 2 1 3
Cue sports pictogram.svg Cue sports 2 1 2 1 2 2 10
Cycling (road) pictogram.svg Cycling – Road 1 1 2 1 5
Cycling (track) pictogram.svg Cycling – Track 2 2 1 1 3 3 12
Diving pictogram.svg Diving 2 2 2 2 2 10
Equestrian pictogram.svg Equestrian 1 1 2 1 1 2 8
Fencing pictogram.svg Fencing 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Field hockey pictogram.svg Field hockey 1 1 2
Football pictogram.svg Football 1 1 2
Golf pictogram.svg Golf 4 4
Gymnastics (artistic) pictogram.svg Gymnastics – Artistic 1 1 2 5 5 14
Gymnastics (rhythmic) pictogram.svg Gymnastics – Rhythmic 1 1 2
Gymnastics (trampoline) pictogram.svg Gymnastics – Trampoline 2 2
Handball pictogram.svg Handball 1 1 2
Judo pictogram.svg Judo 4 4 4 4 16
Kabaddi pictogram.svg Kabaddi 1 1
Karate pictogram.svg Karate 6 7 13
Rowing pictogram.svg Rowing 5 5 10
Rugby union pictogram.svg Rugby sevens 1 1
Sailing pictogram.svg Sailing 3 5 6 14
Sepaktakraw pictogram.svg Sepak takraw 2 2 2 6
Shooting pictogram.svg Shooting 6 7 5 10 6 6 4 44
Soft tennis pictogram.svg Soft tennis 2 1 2 2 7
Softball pictogram.svg Softball 1 1
Squash pictogram.svg Squash 2 2
Swimming pictogram.svg Swimming 6 6 7 7 6 6 38
Synchronized swimming pictogram.svg Synchronized swimming 1 1 2
Table tennis pictogram.svg Table tennis 2 2 3 7
Taekwondo pictogram.svg Taekwondo 4 4 4 4 16
Tennis pictogram.svg Tennis 2 3 2 7
Triathlon pictogram.svg Triathlon 2 2
Volleyball (beach) pictogram.svg Volleyball – Beach 2 2
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Volleyball – Indoor 1 1 2
Water polo pictogram.svg Water polo 1 1
Weightlifting pictogram.svg Weightlifting 3 3 3 3 3 15
Wrestling pictogram.svg Wrestling 3 4 4 3 4 18
Wushu pictogram.svg Wushu 2 9 11
Total gold medals 20 28 28 36 36 29 31 33 29 36 36 41 39 2 424
November / December 2006 29th
November 2006 18th
Basketball pictogram.svg Basketball
Football pictogram.svg Football
Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Volleyball – Indoor


Opening ceremony[edit]

Fireworks display at the opening ceremony of the 15th Asian Games at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha with the Games' cauldron at the background

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.[13] The opening ceremony was directed by David Atkins, who conducted the 2000 Summer Olympics opener.[14]

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[edit]

Kim Hyung Chil and Bundaberg Black prior to the accident.
Participating countries in the 2006 Asian Games.

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.[15] The accident occurred at jump number eight during the cross-country stage of the three-day eventing competition.[16][17] After the horse, named Bundaberg Black, rolled over him,[18] he was taken to the hospital, with his death later confirmed by the organizing committee.[19] Kim died shortly before noon Qatar time .[20]

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.[21]

"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.[22]

Kim's father was an equestrian athlete for South Korea in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the younger Kim won a silver medal at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan on the same horse.[23]

This is the eighth death linked to the 2006 Asian Games, and the first involving an athlete.[24]

Closing ceremony[edit]

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.

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.[25] 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[edit]

The top ten ranked NOCs at these Games are listed below. The host nation, Qatar, is highlighted.

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  China (CHN) 165 88 63 316
2  South Korea (KOR) 58 52 83 193
3  Japan (JPN) 50 72 78 200
4  Kazakhstan (KAZ) 23 20 42 85
5  Thailand (THA) 13 15 26 54
6  Iran (IRI) 11 15 22 48
7  Uzbekistan (UZB) 11 14 15 40
8  India (IND) 10 17 26 53
9  Qatar (QAT) 9 12 11 32
10  Chinese Taipei (TPE) 9 10 27 46
Total 428 423 542 1393

Participating nations[edit]

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.[26]

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.[27]

Name dispute[edit]

Iran threatened to boycott the event after a brochure was published in December 2004, in which the Persian Gulf was misnamed.[28]


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.[29]
  • Oo Mya Sanda, also of Myanmar, silver medalist for 75 kilogram weightlifting, tested positive for a metabolite.[29]
  • Uzbekistan's Elmira Ramileva, the 69 kilogram weightlifter, tested positive for an anabolic steroid.[29]
  • Alexander Urinov, also of Uzbekistan, the 105 kilograms weightlifter, tested positive for cannabis.[29]
  • Iraq's Saad Faeaz, a bodybuilder, disqualified from the Games after a banned steroid was found in his luggage in Doha International Airport.[30]
  • Bahrain's Sayed Faisal Husain, silver medalist for 70 kilogram bodybuilding tested positive.[31]
  • Korea's Kim Myong-Hun, silver medalist for 90 kilogram bodybuilding tested positive.[32]

Gender test[edit]

  • India's Santhi Soundarajan, silver medalist for women's 800 metre run, was officially stripped of her medal after she failed a gender test.[33][34]

Bed shortage[edit]

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.[35]

Last minute withdrawals[edit]

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.[36] Not much later, Turkmenistan announced their withdrawal due to the lack of options available in Qatar.[37] Yemen also withdrew because the team was unable to afford a drug test after some of their players were accused of doping.[38]

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 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.[39]

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.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Olympic Council of Asia : Games". Ocasia.org. Retrieved 2011-06-02. 
  2. ^ "The Asian Games Live On Eurosport". Sportbusiness.com. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  3. ^ "申辦亞運香港慘敗", Page A1, Apple Daily, November 13, 2000, quoting Dato’ Sieh Kok Chi, Honorary Secretary of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.
  4. ^ 香港申亚失败心不服, 体育周报, November 13, 2000
  5. ^ a b "Malaysia Amazed at Losing Asian Games to Qatar". Sportbusiness.com. Archived from the original on 26 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  6. ^ "People's Daily". People.com.cn. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  7. ^ "Choice of Qatar for Asian Games prompts cries of foul". Archives.cnn.com. 2000-11-13. Archived from the original on April 6, 2013. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  8. ^ a b c Doha Asian Games torch relay route revealed
  9. ^ Torch ceremony marks countdown to Games Archived January 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b The 15th Asian Games Doha 2006 Torch Relay Route revealed Archived 2017-01-01 at the Wayback Machine. Archived copy at WebCite (December 4, 2009).
  11. ^ "King of the Mile" Hicham El Guerrouj to Carry the Flame
  12. ^ "Mascot of Asian Games 2006". Travour.com. 2006-12-05. Archived from the original on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  13. ^ "Media fascinated by high-tech at Doha Asiad opening ceremony". English.people.com.cn. 2006-12-02. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  14. ^ "PIGI projection makes dazzling opening ceremony in Doha Asian Games". NEWSGD.com. 2006-12-12. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  15. ^ DAGOC mourns rider after fatal fall
  16. ^ "Asian Games: S. Korean rider dies after equestrian accident". Asia.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-05-02. [dead link]
  17. ^ "South Korean rider dies in jump fall". Rediff.com. 2004-12-31. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  18. ^ South Korean rider dies in jump fall[dead link]
  19. ^ Asian Games roundup: Equestrian rider's death overshadows competition[dead link]
  20. ^ Tragedy strikes Games Archived 2006-12-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Koreans demand probe into death fall
  22. ^ "Asia Games death 'tragic accident'". Edition.cnn.com. 2006-12-08. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  23. ^ South Korean rider dies in jump fall[dead link]
  24. ^ Equestrian rider dies at Asian Games[dead link]
  25. ^ "Chinese culture to take spot at closing ceremony of Doha Asiad". English.people.com.cn. 2006-12-12. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  26. ^ Rains spoil ‘best’ opening ceremony
  27. ^ "Rain Could Dampen Qatar's 2016 Bid". Gamesbids.com. Archived from the original on December 20, 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  28. ^ "Iran threatens to boycott 2006 Doha Asian Games". middle-east-online.com. 28 December 2004. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  29. ^ a b c d "Fourth weightlifter has positive doping test at Asian Games". International Herald Tribune. 2009-03-29. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  30. ^ "Bodybuilder disqualified after importing banned substances". International Herald Tribune. 2009-03-29. Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  31. ^ "Bodybuilder Syafrizaldy gets Asiad silver". Thejakartapost.com. 2007-05-16. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  32. ^ "An extra bronze medal for Hong Kong". Hksi.org.hk. 2007-05-22. Archived from the original on 2010-06-08. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  33. ^ Santhi scandal an insult to all Tamils[dead link]
  34. ^ "Indian athlete fails gender test". BBC News. 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  35. ^ "Doha Asian Games faces bed shortage". English.people.com.cn. 2006-11-24. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  36. ^ "Men's and women's football draw held". Gulf-times.com. Archived from the original on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  37. ^ "Turkmenistan soccer team withdraws from Asian Games". International Herald Tribune. 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  38. ^ Yemen withdrew following doping concerns – AFC
  39. ^ "Indian government cuts jumbo Asiad squad". Dawn.com. 2006-11-23. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  40. ^ "Palestine quits men's volleyball event at Doha Asia". English.people.com.cn. 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°15′54″N 51°27′02″E / 25.26496°N 51.45061°E / 25.26496; 51.45061