XIV Asian Games
Host cityBusan, South Korea
MottoNew Vision, New Asia[1]
(Korean새로운 비전, 새로운 아시아; RRsaeroun bijeon, saeroun asia)
Events419 in 38 sports[2]
Opening29 September 2002
Closing14 October 2002
Opened byKim Dae-jung
President of South Korea
Closed bySamih Moudallal
Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia
Athlete's OathMoon Dae-sung, Ryu Ji-hye
Torch lighterHa Hyung-joo, Kye Sun-hui
Main venueBusan Asiad Main Stadium

The 2002 Asian Games (Korean: 2002년 아시아 경기대회/2002년 아시안 게임, romanizedIcheoni-nyeon Asia gyeonggi daehoe/Icheoni-nyeon Asian Geim), officially known as the XIV Asian Games (Korean: 제14회 아시아 경기대회/제14회 아시안 게임, romanizedJesipsahoe Asia gyeonggi daehoe/Jesipsahoe Asian Geim) and also known as Busan 2002 (Korean: 부산2002, romanizedBusan Icheoni), were an international multi-sport event held in Busan, South Korea from September 29 to October 14, 2002. Due schedule impediments the football tournament started two days before the opening ceremonies.

Busan is the second city in South Korea, after Seoul in 1986 to host the Games. This was the second time South Korea hosted the event. A total of 419 events in 38 sports were contested by 7,711 athletes from 44 countries.[3][4] The Games were also co-hosted by its four neighbouring cities: Ulsan, Changwon, Masan and Yangsan.[5] It was opened by President of South Korea, Kim Dae-jung, at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium.

The final medal tally was led by China, followed by host South Korea and Japan. China set a new record and became the first nation in the history of Asian Games to cross the 300 medal-mark in one edition. South Korea set a new record with 95 gold medals. 22 world records, 43 Asian records were broken during the Games.[6][7][8] In addition, Japanese Swimming Kosuke Kitajima was announced as the most valuable player (MVP) of the Games.

Bidding process

Busan was selected over Kaohsiung at the 14th Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly in Seoul, South Korea on 23 May 1995. The voting involved 41 members of the sports governing body, with 37 of them supported Busan.[9][10][11]

2002 Asian Games bidding result
City NOC Votes
Busan  South Korea 37
Kaohsiung  Chinese Taipei 4

Development and preparations


A total of US$2.9 billion was spent for the games.[12]


Official mascot


The emblem of the Games is a motif of East sea blue waves in the shape of Taegeuk, symbolising Busan and Korea. It expresses the image of development and unity of the Asian people and the two dynamic powers that are closely intertwined. The wave's shape in the emblem indicates the character B, the first character of Busan.[13][14]


The mascot of the 2002 Asian Games is a Sea gull, the city bird of Busan named "Duria", whose name is a combination of the two words 'Durative' and 'Asia', which means "You and Me Together" or Everlasting Asia in the Korean language, which expresses the ideal of the Games: to promote harmony, friendship and prosperity among Asian countries. Its thick black ink and free line expression, symbolize Korean traditional culture, while its white colour shade representing the image of a powerful spirit and the great hopes for Asia in the 21st century.[15]


The medal of the games featured the Korean traditional octagonal building, Palgagjeong top view design with the old Olympic Council of Asia logo on the obverse and Busan Asia Games Flame, logo, and Oryukdo scenery on the reverse. The design represents solidarity of membership and eternity of OCA, Busan as host of the games and youth, unity, and friendship of the athletes.[16]


In conjunction with the Games, eight songs were released as the official music for the Games:[17]

Torch relay

The relay itself started at 11 a.m. on 5 September 2002 when two flames were simultaneously lit at Hallasan in South Korea and Paektu Mountain, the Korean peninsula’s highest mountain, in North Korea. 42 local flames in other participating nations were also lit at the same time.[18] The two Korean flames were unified into one at Imjingak Pavilion at the truce village of Panmunjeom during 7 September 2002 morning and was dubbed the Unification flame. After that, a nationwide torch relay totaled a distance of 4,294 kilometres in 23 days was held. The relay passed through 904 districts in 16 cities within the country. The Unification flame joined with the flames of 42 other participating nations are also unified at the main cauldron base during the opening ceremony on 29 September 2002.[19][20] The torch design was based on a Korean traditional music instrument called Taepyeongso.[21]


42 competition venues were used in the Games with twelve of them are newly built,[22][23] including the Asiad Sports Complex which was completed on 31 July 2000.[24] Other venues included an athletes' village and a main press centre.[25]

Asiad Sports Complex

Venue Events Capacity Ref.
Busan Asiad Stadium Athletics, Football (Final), Opening and closing ceremonies
Sajik Swimming Pool Aquatics (Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Diving)
Sajik Gymnasium Basketball, Gymnastics
Sajik Baseball Stadium Baseball
Sajik Tennis Courts Soft tennis and tennis

Gangseo Sports Park

Venue Events Capacity Ref.
Gangseo Archery Field Archery
Gangseo Gymnasium Badminton, Fencing
Gangseo Hockey Stadium Hockey

Geumjeong Sports Park

Venue Events Capacity Ref.
Geumjeong Gymnasium Basketball
Geumjeong Velodrome Cycling (Track)
Geumjeong Tennis Stadium Tennis

Gudeok Sports Complex

Venue Events Capacity Ref.
Busan Gudeok Stadium Football
Gudeok Baseball Stadium Baseball
Gudeok Gymnasium Judo, Taekwondo

Isolated Venues

Venue Events Capacity Ref.
Nakdong River Rowing and Canoeing Courses Canoeing, Rowing
Gijang Gymnasium Volleyball (Indoor)
Haeundae Beach Volleyball (Beach)
Dongju College Gymnasium Cue sports
Gijang Streets Cycling (Road)
Gijang Mountain Bike Race Stadium Cycling (Mountain, Down hill)
Busan Citizen's Hall Bodybuilding
Homeplus Asiad Bowling Alley Bowling
Busan Equestrian Grounds Equestrian, Modern pentathlon (Riding)
Asiad Country Club Golf
Tongmyong University Stadium Kabaddi
Samnak River Athletic Park Modern pentathlon (Running)
Busan Yachting Center Sailing
Pukyong National University Gymnasium Weightlifting
Dongseo University Minseok Sports Center Wushu, Sepak takraw

Changwon Sports Park

Venue Events Capacity Ref.
Changwon Swimming Pool Aquatics (Water polo), Modern pentathlon (Swimming)
Changwon Stadium Football
Changwon Gymnasium Handball

Masan Sports Complex

Venue Events Capacity Ref.
Masan Gymnasium Boxing
Masan Stadium Football
Changwon Evergreen Hall Modern pentathlon (Fencing)
Changwon International Shooting Range Shooting, Modern pentathlon (Shooting)
Yangsan College Gymnasium Karate, Wrestling, Squash
Yangsan Stadium Football


Venue Events Capacity Ref.
Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium Football
Ulsan Stadium Rugby
Dongchun Gymnasium Table tennis

The Asian Village in Property Development Area, Banyeodong, Haeundae District, Busan had 2,290 apartments in 20 buildings which can accommodate 14,000 people.[26][27]


The host city Busan had existing subway and bus services prior to the games.[28]

The games

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony with the theme “A Beautiful meeting,” was held on 29 September 2002 at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium. Participating nations marched into the stadium in Korean alphabetical order began with Nepal. North Korea and South Korea jointly entered the stadium under one flag for the first time in Asian Games history and the second time after the 2000 Summer Olympics.[29][30] South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung declared the Games open, Two Korean athletes - Mun Dae-Sung (taekwondo) and Ryu Ji -Hye (table tennis) took the oath on behalf of all the participating athletes while South Korea's retired judoist Ha Hyung-joo and North Korean female judoist Kye Sun-hui lit the games' cauldron. The cultural part was 6 segment show with a total duration of 40-minutes and the was about the enconter between King Kim Suro and the Queen Hur Hwangok was also presented, the main star of the event was the opera diva Sumi Jo.

Participating National Olympic Committees

All 44 members of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) with 7,711 athletes took part in the Games. East Timor participated for the first time since its independence, Afghanistan returned to the action since Taliban had come to power,[31] and Saudi Arabia returned after previously boycotted prior event due to political tension with Thailand as the 1998 Games host.[32] Below is a list of all the participating NOCs; the number of competitors per delegation is indicated in brackets.[33][34]

Participating National Olympic Committees


A total of 419 events in 38 sports was contested in the Games for 16 days of competition. Football and basketball was kickoff two and one day respectively prior to the opening ceremony.[35] Bodybuilding was the debutant sport in Games.[36]


All times are in Korea Standard Time (UTC+9)

 OC  Opening ceremony  ●  Event competitions  1  Gold medal events  CC  Closing ceremony
September / October 27th
Ceremonies OC CC
Aquatics Diving 2 2 1 1 1 1 43
Swimming 5 5 6 6 5 5
Artistic swimming 1 1
Water polo 1
Archery 1 1 2 4
Athletics 5 10 7 9 5 8 1 45
Badminton 1 1 2 3 7
Baseball 1 1
Basketball 2 2
Bodybuilding 4 4 8
Bowling 2 2 2 2 2 10
Boxing 12 12
Canoeing 5 8 13
Cue sports 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 10
Cycling Road cycling 2 1 1 20
Track cycling 2 3 3 4
Mountain biking 2 1 1
Equestrian 2 1 1 1 1 6
Fencing 2 2 2 2 2 2 12
Field hockey 1 1 2
Football 1 1 2
Golf 4 4
Gymnastics Artistic 1 1 2 5 5 16
Rhythmic 1 1
Handball 1 1 2
Judo 4 4 4 4 16
Kabaddi 1 1
Karate 7 4 11
Modern pentathlon 2 2 1 1 6
Rowing 6 7 13
Rugby union 1 1 2
Sailing 15 15
Sepaktakraw 2 2 2 6
Shooting 8 6 6 6 6 6 4 42
Soft tennis 2 5 7
Softball 1 1
Squash 2 2
Table tennis 1 1 1 2 2 7
Taekwondo 4 4 4 4 16
Tennis 1 1 3 2 7
Volleyball Beach volleyball 2 4
Indoor volleyball 1 1
Weightlifting 1 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 15
Wrestling 5 4 5 4 18
Wushu 2 9 11
Daily medal events 2 14 19 31 41 35 27 23 32 33 35 27 19 32 42 7 419
Cumulative total 2 16 35 66 107 142 169 192 224 257 292 319 338 370 412 419
September / October 27th

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony with the theme “Returning to Home.” was held on the evening of Monday, 14 October 2002 at the Busan Asiad Main Stadium. Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima was announced as the most valuable player (MVP) of the Games. Samih Moudallal, vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), on behalf of OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al Sabah declared the games closing. The Asian Games flag was handed over to Doha, Qatar, host of the next edition in 2006. A cultural segment of the city was also presented.[37][38][39]

Medal table

Main article: 2002 Asian Games medal table

The top ten ranked NOCs at these Games are listed below. The host nation, South Korea, is highlighted.

  *   Host nation (South Korea)

1 China (CHN)1508474308
2 South Korea (KOR)*968084260
3 Japan (JPN)447372189
4 Kazakhstan (KAZ)20263076
5 Uzbekistan (UZB)15122451
6 Thailand (THA)14191043
7 India (IND)11121336
8 Chinese Taipei (TPE)10172552
9 North Korea (PRK)9111333
10 Iran (IRI)8141436
Totals (39 entries)4274215021350


Busan Asian Games Radio and Television Organization (BARTO), a joint venture between Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS), served as the host broadcaster of these Games, covered 28 of the 38 sports during the event.[40] The International Broadcast Centre was located at Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) in Haeundae District.[41][42]

Concerns and controversies

Doping issues

On October 7, 2002, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that the bodybuilding bronze medalist in the +90 kg weight category Youssef El-Zein of Lebanon was relieved of his medal for not submitting to a drugs test. After El-Zein was disqualified, the bronze medal in the +90 kg category went to Choi Jae-Duck of South Korea (who had finished fourth).[43]

Six days later, Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported that Indian middle-distance runner Sunita Rani had tested positive for a banned substance, which was later confirmed by Lee Choon-Sup, Deputy Secretary General of the Busan Asian Games Organizing Committee; an unofficial report stated that the substance was the anabolic steroid nandrolone. Sunita had won two medals in athletics: a gold in the 1,500 m (setting an Asian Games record) and a bronze in the 5,000 m, (in which Sunita jointly bettered the Games record set by Indonesian Suprianti Sutono in Bangkok during the 1998 Asian Games with six other athletes).[44][45] The Indian Chef de Mission at the Games backed Sunita—who denied using any banned drug—and asked for a "B" sample test from Bangkok, but tests were run only at the Asian Games’ Doping Control Center (AGDCC) in Seoul (the laboratory accredited by the IOC). On October 16, the AGDCC confirmed the steroid nandrolone in Sunita's urine sample; as a consequence, the OCA stripped her of both medals and dismissed her Asian Games record for the 1,500 m.[46][47]

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) requested the intervention of the International Association of Athletics Federations and the IOC; the samples were jointly reexamined by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the IOC Sub-Commission on Doping and Biochemistry of Sport. In January 2003, the OCA announced that the IOC Medical Director had cleared Sunita of the doping charge and that appropriate action would be taken against the AGDCC.[48] Both of Sunita's medals were reinstated on February 4, 2003, in a ceremony attended by the Secretary General of OCA Randhir Singh and the president of the IOA Suresh Kalmadi.[49]

Three Malaysian sepak takraw players were sent home for failing drug tests after testing positive for morphine.[50]

Missing athletes

A total of 16 athletes including 12 Nepalese, three Sri Lankans and one Mongolian were reported to be missing, which police and sports officials suspected them to have found illegal jobs in South Korea.[51]

See also


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  50. ^ "Malaysian athletes pilloried at home". Rediff. 3 October 2002.
  51. ^ "Jobs better than medals for some Asiad athletes". Rediff. 9 October 2002.
Preceded byBangkok Asian GamesBusan XIV Asian Games (2002) Succeeded byDoha