Beijing: The 19th Asian Games concluded at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, on Sunday night. Raja Randhir Singh, acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), formally declared the 19th Asian Games closed. After 15 days of competition featuring 11,830 athletes from 45 countries and regions in 481 events across 61 disciplines in 40 sports, a total of 15 world records, 37 Asian records and 170 Asian Games records were set, highlighting the incredible performances and the efforts behind them by the participating athletes as well as the teams behind them.

China, which had 886 athletes, the second-most in Asian Games history, won a record 201 gold, 11 silver and 71 bronze medals, leading the medal standings for the 11th straight time. Xie Zhenye, who won the men’s 100-meter and the men’s 4×100-meter relay gold medals at the Asian Games, carried the flag on behalf of China at the closing ceremony.

The closing ceremony of the Asian Games was an 85-minute-long farewell party that included four clips, two programs and one carnival. According to Zhang Shiqian, the creative director of the closing ceremony, some 40,000 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were installed under the turf of the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium as an important part of the show, CGTN reported.

Sunday, October 8, marked the beginning of this year’s Hanlu, one of China’s 24 solar terms. It began with the final blossoming days of lotus and the newly blossoming of sweet osmanthus. The LEDs, in combination of augmented reality (AR) technology, generated tides and various pictures of both flowers, turning the stadium into “Asia’s most beautiful garden,” in the director’s words, as a farewell to the visiting friends.

The digital torchbearer that drew worldwide attention at the opening ceremony now has a name: Pioneer, a youngster who faces and battles the risks in an era that surges forward. The avatar came to the stadium again at the end of the closing ceremony and waved goodbye to the participants as the flame went out. The next edition of the Asian Games will take place in Aichi and Nagoya in Japan in 2026.