What if 2018 Asian Games only had 2020 Summer Olympic events?

By Seng Foo 4 September 2018 1026
What if 2018 Asian Games only had 2020 Summer Olympic events?
The 2018 Asian Games finally drew to a close on September 2 and we will need to wait for almost two years before another multi-sport event of a similar scale takes place, namely the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Interestingly, out of the 465 events in 40 sports contested in Indonesia, only 328 will be held at the Olympics in two years’ time.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang featured non-Olympic sports like bowling, bridge, jet-skiing, jujitsu, kabaddi, kurash, paragliding, pencak silat, sambo, sepak takraw, squash, and wushu. Furthermore, several events of its Olympic sports won’t be contested in Tokyo, such as in archery (compound events), diving (one-metre springboard), track cycling (individual pursuit), and so on. In the name of research, let’s take a look at what the Asian Games medal tally would look like if we just included Tokyo 2020 Olympics events.

Below is the final medal tally of the 2018 Asian Games, featuring only the top 10 countries and Malaysia.



And this is how a complete medal tally would look if the non-Olympic sports and events were excluded.



Here are some of the interesting takeaways:

- China still top the medal table despite losing the most gold medal (26) among all nations, especially in wushu events in which they won 10 gold.

- Indonesia arguably benefit the most from hosting non-Olympic events, earning 60 extra medals – more than any other nation. 14 of their 25 gold medals "lost" are from pencak silat events.

- Malaysia drop from 14th to 21st on the medal table and are left with one gold after removing non-2020 Summer Olympic events of bowling (women's team and men's masters), sailing (open laser 4.7), sepak takraw (men's regu) and squash (women’s singles and men's team).

- If the same formula was applied for the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games, Malaysia would have three (1 x cycling, 2 x karate) and two (2 x karate) gold medals, instead of nine and five, to show for respectively.

- The only nations unaffected are Bahrain, Iraq and Syria.

- Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Afghanistan and Myanmar join the list of countries without winning any medal in Indonesia.

*Sports and events that will be held or not held at the 2020 Summer Olympics are correct as of 4 September 2018.
**Boxing, weightlifting and karate, which will be making its Olympic debut, will be different in Tokyo in terms of weight classes, but the modified medal tally includes the Asian Games results.
***2018 Asian Games did not have all 2020 Summer Olympics events.

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