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Asian Games: Empty seats, a big headache for Asian Games organisers

If the empty seats at the Opening Ceremony were any indication, the first day of competition only confirmed that. Most of the events on the first day were played out in front of hundreds of empty seats.

These spectators have no company during the women’s badminton event at the Asian Games in Incheon on Saturday. Pic/AFP
These spectators have no company during the women’s badminton event at the Asian Games in Incheon on Saturday. Pic/AFP 

The buzz is the induction of actress-model Lee Young-ae, a ubiquitous face in South Korea, in the Opening, where she lit the torch, and K-Pop star, Psy performing Gangnam Style, filled many of the seats in a last-minute rush. Lee is a major superstar following her success in a Korean historical drama popular across many parts of far-east Asia.

But that is not going to happen at the sports events, or at least that what it seems on the first day. Incheon officials are reported to have admitted that less than a fifth of the tickets have been sold so far.

Believe it! China vs South Korea in cricket
This is one heading you never thought of 20, or even 10 years ago — China playing South Korea in cricket! Even as India's richie-rich cricketers are busy with the lucrative Champions League T20 — not that the Board of Control for Cricket in India has time for events like Asian Games — Bangladesh, Sri Lanka along with many other Asian minnows will be playing for medals.

But even there are unthinkable match-ups — like China beating South Korea in women's cricket league match. Cricket made its entry into Asian Games in 2010 at Guangzhou. The men's gold was claimed by Bangladesh and believe it or not, the women's title went to Pakistan. And the women's third place match saw Japan beating China.

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