Arabian Nights Party Closes Asian Games

Sinbad the Sailor, 900 child genies and Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves came to the Khalifa Stadium on Friday night,when Qatar staged a spectacular ceremony to mark the end of the Asian Games.

Arabian Nights Party Closes Asian Games

It drew the curtain on the 15-day multi-sports event which China dominated, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The two-hour extravaganza was themed around the famous Middle Eastern tale Arabian Nights, but the atmosphere was more of a giant party as athletes, spectators and organizers celebrated the success of the Games.

Among the stories told was Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves with their giant caravans and several hundred colorful jugglers, arcobats and whirling dancers.

Smoke filled the arena and a giant 3D genie appeared to tell another story of Aladdin and his lamp which "magically" makes 900 children dressed as genies carrying lanterns appear and form a 12-pointed star.

The ceremony climaxed with a fireworks display, sparking wild applause.

The ceremony was another success for Australian artistic director David Atkins and his team who received praise for their three-hour opening ceremony on December 1.

Atkins was also the unknown soldier behind the opening and closing ceremonies at the Sydney Olympics.

There was double reason to celebrate with Qatar winning football gold just hours before the ceremony, defeating Iraq for the final title of the Games, bringing wild party scenes from the partisan crowd filling the stadium.


China dominated the event, winning 165 gold medals. South Korea was second with 58 and Japan third with 50.

The next Asian Games are in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in 2010.

South Korean schoolboy swimmer Park Tae-Hwan was then announced as the most valuable player of the Games.

The shy 17-year-old upstaged rivals China and Japan battling for supremacy in the pool by winning three golds, a silver and three bronze medals.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, president of the Olympic Council of Asia, told an estimated global television audience of three billion and another 55,000 packed in the stadium that the 15th Games had been a tremendous success.

He also thanked the thousands of athletes, who earlier marched together into the arena, from 45 countries who competed in 39 sports.

Al-Sabah declared the Games closed, handing the Olympic Council of Asia flag to the mayor of Guangzhou city in southern China, the hosts of the next Games in 2010 who then staged their own mini cultural performance.

"May the youth of Asia ever celebrate the Asian Games in the spirit of brotherhood and for the good of humanity," he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16