Asian Games: All you need to know about Hangzhou 2022

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The Asian Games are here after a year's delay. After an impressive Tokyo Olympics and equally creditable display at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, India's top athletes prepare to make an impact at the continental level in Hangzhou, China.

Here's everything you need to know about India's campaign at the Asian Games (officially known as Hangzhou 2022).

When are the Games starting?

Some sports - including football, cricket, sailing and hockey - have started a few days early but the official opening ceremony will be held on September 23 at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium. The Games end on October 8.

Indian interest at the Asiad began on September 19 with the men's football team playing hosts China.

Asian Games: Indian football teams return to Asiad, but preparations and results less than ideal

Which are the disciplines and sports at the Asian Games?

There will be 61 disciplines in 40 sports, including traditional Olympic sports and non-Olympic events. Medals will also be given in esports and breakdancing, which are making their debut.

Cricket is making a comeback this time after last featuring in the 2014 edition, and so is chess after 13 years.

Here are some of the weird sports which will feature in this Asian Games.

What are India's prospects at the Asian Games?

India field a strong 655-member athlete squad, which includes some big names. Olympic gold medallist and world champion Neeraj Chopra will aim to defend his javelin gold medal against Pakistan's Arshad Nadeem. Boxing world champion Nikhat Zareen will look to win her first Asian Games medal while both men's and women's hockey teams will eye qualification to the Paris Olympics next year by winning gold medals.

However, Mirabai Chanu, Olympic and Asian Games medallist, will face tough competition from Chinese, North Korea and Thai weightlifters.

Here are India's 10 best gold medal contenders at this edition's Asian Games (excluding cricket).

What's the best way to plan the day to watch India's medals?

China is 2.5 hours ahead of India so the events will begin as early as 6 am IST and continue till around 8pm. In the first week (from September 24 to 30) shooting - where India can win multiple medals - qualification events start early in the morning, with the finals also ending before noon.

Preliminary rounds in archery also start early and the medal rounds are in the second week. Athletics medal events are scheduled in the second week and they will take place in the evening.

Here's our detailed copy on the Asian Games schedule, with a day-by-day breakdown.

Who are the fresh faces from India to watch out for?

Aditi Swami (17), the reigning world champion in compound archery, is the one to watch out for. Like she did at the Worlds, Aditi could win medals for India in both women's individual and team events.

There is also exceptional young Indian chess talent at the Games, with D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa leading the men's squad. Jyothi Yarraji (hurdler) and Kishore Jena (javelin) can make an impact in track and field.

In wrestling, there's Aman Sehrawat, who's the Asian champion and Antim Panghal, a two-time U-20 world champion and now a World Championship medals.

Shooting has several young players too in a new-look squad as the sport looks to rebuild after the Tokyo Olympics blip. Teenagers Esha Singh, Shiva Narwal (10m air pistol) and Rudrankksh Patil (10m air rifle) are all gold medallists at the World Championships.

Any top Indian athletes who are missing out?

Top wrestler and serial medal winner Vinesh Phogat will be missing out. So will Olympic silver medallist wrestler Ravi Dahiya and Rani Rampal, the Indian women's hockey team's superstar and former captain.

Read about the top names missing the Asian Games and the reasons for that here.

What's India's Asian Games track record??

India have been decent performers at the Asiad, generally finishing among the top 10 countries and picking up more than 50 medals. Sports like athletics, shooting, boxing, wrestling have fetched multiple medals in each edition.

The country's best performance at the Asian Games happened in 2018 when the contingent won 70 medals -- 16 gold, 23 silver and 31 bronze.

However, India are nowhere near China and Japan in terms of overall medals at the Games. China have been constantly winning more than 100 gold medals at each Games since 1990 while Japan's overall tally generally touches 200 medals.

Fun fact: Last time the Asian Games took place in China -- Guangzhou in 2010 -- the host nation won 199 gold medals and in total 416 medals.

Safe to say, China will do everything to touch 200-mark this time.

Where can I watch Asian Games in India?

Sony Sports Network will broadcast the Games on television while streaming will be live on Sony Liv website and app.