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'Stunning' ceremony to launch Asian Games
Latest Updated by 2006-12-01 09:11:43
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A "STUNNING" ceremony will launch the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, at 6 p.m. (11 p.m. Beijing Time) Friday (Dec 1).


The opening ceremony of the Asian Games will be the "biggest" and "boldest" ever seen in Asia, eclipsing the Sydney Olympics ceremony and incorporating elements never tried before, organizers have said.


"With a cast of 7,000 local people, this will be the biggest ceremony Asia has ever seen," said Sharif Omar Hashisho, the director of ceremonies and cultural events for the Asian Games, earlier this week.


Friday's ceremony at the 50,000-seater Khalifa Stadium, seen by up to 3 billion TV viewers worldwide, will launch the Dec. 1-15 Asian Games in "stunning" style, said David Atkins, the Australian director for the opening and closing ceremonies.


Atkins directed the ceremonies for the 2000 Sydney Olympics and said the three-hour-20-minute event in Doha would be bigger and better.


"We are doing things in this ceremony that have never been done before," he said.


More than 13,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions are competing in the 15th Asian Games and Atkins said they are in for a surprise at the traditional parade of athletes at the opening ceremony.


"One of our driving themes is the desert meeting the sea," said Atkins.


China has sent 928 athletes to Doha, aiming to dominate the Games.


Among the Chinese competitors, 18 are from Shenzhen. Basketball player Yi Jianlian, reportedly the flag-bearer for China at the opening ceremony, world gymnastics champion Feng Jing and judoist Gao Feng, all from Shenzhen, are hopefuls for gold medals.


Editor: Wing

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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