Live updates from the three-hour long opening ceremony of the 17th edition of Asian Games, being held at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium. K-Pop sensation Psy will headline the ceremony.
Psy, competing his congratulatory performance is everyone's favourite Gangnam Style. With that the three-hour long extravagant opening ceremony concludes.
K-Pop band JYJ started the general entertainment program, then pianist Lang Lang and Psy are combined to rock the stadium.
And thus two-week sporting extravaganza kicks off.
After the oath taking ceremony, golfing sensation Park Inbee received the flame from baseball slugger Lee Seung-yuop at the stadium entrance. Then Park passed it to retired speed skater Lee Kyou-hyuk, who in turn handed the flame to legendary women's basketball player Park Chan-soo. Then, she passed it to tennis player Lee Hyung-taik. Finally, Lee Young-ae recieved the sacred flame, and the legendary actress with two children light the Games cauldron, once again in Korea after 12 years.
Representatives of all the athletes and judges partaking at the Games, are taking the solemn oath. South Korean archer Oh Jin-hyek and fencer Nam Hyun-hee took the athlete's oath while Kim Hong-lae and Shu Hea-jung represented the officials and judges.
Making its entry into the stadium is the flag of Olympic Council of Asia, being carried by six legendary Korean sportsmen in various sporting disciplines. With the rendition of OCA hymn, the flag will be hoisted.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye declared open the Games.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and President of Kuwait Olympic Committee followed it up with a Korean greeting. He welcomes the athletes saying they are the soul of the Asiad movement. He also thanked the 45 National Olympic Associations for making it a reality.
Next program is the speeches from the officials. Kim Youngsoo, the President of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games is the first to take the stage. He is giving a low down on Incheon, how good the city is and why the city bade for the Asian Games.
And some of the athletes have already started dancing to the tune of One Asia. Great moment for these athletes, many of them taking part for the first time in such sporting jamboree.
Finally, the Korean Republic and standing ovation from the crowd. They, along with Japan will hope to break the Chinese grip in this Games.
Pakistan, Palestine and Philippines are next. The, Hong Kong in the queue before the host team's appearance.
Kyrgyzstan are next. And a large delegation from Chinese Tapei with 420 athletes entered the stadium. Tajikistan and Thailand, the land sepak takraw followed.
Qatar and Cambodia followed next. Cambodia have sent only 20 and they are the second smallest contingent. In contrast, Qatar have a 251 strong group and they are surely one of the rising sporting nations of the world.
Then, it's the turn of the biggest contingent and surely a force in the world of sports. China, with 894 athletes. Kazakhs followed.
A lukewarm cheer for the Indian contingent, with flag bearer Sardar Singh leading the group. Indonesia followed the Indians. Japan, who have won the most numbers of medals at the Asiad, are next. Then the biggest cheer so far, thy neighbors from the North Korea.
Yemenis contingent followed. Then countries from middle-east Iran and Iraq took the lane.
Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka - one of the founding nations of Asiad movement, followed. Then, Syria.
Bhutan and Brunei followed. Two of the smaller countries and with relatively smaller contingents.
Vietnam followed the march. Capital city of Hanoi was to host the next edition of the Asiad but it will now be held, in all likelihood, at Jakarta.
Mongolia followed. Myanmar, Bahrain and Bangladesh are next.
Macao, then Malaysia followed. Malaysians have a sizeable contingent with more than 400 athletes. Maldives are next. They have never won a medal, but this time with 142 of them, at least a medal can be assured.
Then, Laos and Lebanon
East Timor - followed, they have never won a medal at the Asiad.
Nepal - the first team is Nepal. Unlike the Olympics, the order of the nations is done according to the South Korean alphabet.
Introduction of participating nations, welcome by a group of clapping children.
Diversity sure shines at the Asiad
— 2014 Asian Games (@incheonAG2014en) September 19, 2014
After the completion of the four-part opening act, the presentation of South Korean flag by the legends and luminaries of the nation. With the singing of Korea's national anthem, the flag is being hoisted.
Now, we are viewing the final and fourth act called "Asia as one and future joining with today." And it made way for the presentation of a series od performance showing a modern Asia, as we known it today. The first act is byt the 45 artists from 45 different participating nations.
Then a dance troupe depicting workers enacted how the first railways was opened in Korea in 1899 through the creation of Seoul-Chemulpo Railroad (SCRR). Then slowly, the image morphed into railways tracks and modern day fast railways, which helped unite Korea. It was followed by a depiction of the role airways played in Korea's growth. All through the eyes of crowned prince.
Coming to the mythological part of the history of Incheon, a depiction on how the gods sacrificed themselves for the restoration of the city followed. Then, starting of Korean postal service and hosts of other modern ways of life, using bicycles et al.
It was followed by a collective rendition by the stars of the Korean music.
In continuation, how the sea route connected the continent with the rest of the world is depicted.
The story how the continent of Asia was created, then separated occupied the narrative with a well choreographed routine performed by a dance troupe.
Indian Premier, Narendra Modi tweeted
My best wishes to our athletes for 2014 Asian Games at Incheon. I am sure they will make India proud! @incheonAG2014en
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 19, 2014
The following recitation of the “Asiad Song” by poet Go Eun serve a perfect appetizer to the performance of Grammy Award winner soprano Jo Su-mi. Her high-octane performance receives a grand visual supporting act from a dance troupe in all white, which formed the logo of the games.
Then, the President of Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye makes her grand entrance and other dignitaries.
Children with rings started the first act of the evening, followed by a visual narrative on the creation of the Universe. And the light is on. Then, the unity of the continent.
After a glittering light and sound show, the city of Incheon welcomes everyone to the opening ceremony.
South Korea first hosted the Asian Games in 1986, at Seoul. Then, Busan hosted the 2002 edition. Yes, Seoul also hosted the Olympics in 1988 then the country co-hosted the FIFA World Cup with Japan in 2006.
First view from the stadium as the setting sun in Incheon makes way for glowing lights in and around the city.
In between, lets have a look at the official pictograms for the 17th Asiad
— 2014 Asian Games (@incheonAG2014en) September 18, 2014
In a while, the opening ceremony will start at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium.
New Delhi: After a long wait of four years, Asian sporting heroes will once again gather for the continental showcase. The South Korean city of Incheon will play hosts to this glittering assembly of dream merchants. And the Indian contingent, once again, will hope to perform well in front of a global audience. The quadrennial event will also serve as a testing platform for the 2018 Rio Olympics.
The coastal city of Incheon will witness a three-hour long opening ceremony with K-Pop sensation PSY headlining the event. The rich cultural heritage of the Korean peninsula will also be showcased as more than 10000 athletes from the 45 participating nations march in unison before the Games officially are declared open with the lighting of symbolic flame. The flame will be lit by Korean screen siren Lee Young-ae at the 60,000-seat Asiad Main Stadium cauldron. The 43-year-old is famous for her title role in the hugely popular Dae Jang Geum.
South Korean film directors Im Kwon-Taek and Jang Jin, who are joint directors of the Games, have promised to make the opening ceremony a grand affair.
"We will display Korea's past and future by combining the characters and identities of Korea with its digital technology," they added. "Dream of 4.5 billion People, One Asia" is the theme song. Giving a regal touch, the ceremony features some of the leading musicians like Chinese pianist Lang Lang, gugak performer Ahn Suk-seon, soprano Jo Su-mi, cellist Song Yeong-hun and violist Richard Yongjae O'Neill.
The evening gala will cover four acts, from "Asia long time ago", "Asia meeting through the sea", "Asia as family and friends", and "Asia as one and future joining with today". Leading South Korean actors Chang Dong-Geon and Kim Soo-Hyun will lead the stories, with Chang narrating the first story and Kim appearing through a video during the second stage.
VIPs including International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and other state dignitaries will attend the ceremony.
Men's hockey team captain Sardar Singh will be the flag-bearer of Indian contingent.
The 17th Asiad will be competed in 439 events in 36 sports with full Olympic programme plus Asian favourites like kabaddi and wushu. And once again, China -- with some 894 athletes, are expected to dominate the Games. In the previous edition held at Guangzhou, the host nation won an unprecedented 416 medals including 199 gold.