Unveiling the History of Rowing in Asian Games


Rowing has been a part of every Asian Games since it became part of the Asian Games in 1982. Rowing involves the competitive racing of boats using long paddles known as oars. It’s distinct from paddling, where the paddles aren’t attached to the boat, whereas in rowing, the oars are secured with special locks. 

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Rowing is categorized into two main styles: sculling and sweep rowing. In sculling, each rower wields a pair of oars, one in each hand, while in sweep rowing, every rower manages a single oar held with both hands. 

The sport offers various categories of boats for athletes to compete in, ranging from single sculls designed for one person to larger boats known as eights, accommodating eight rowers alongside a coxswain. 

History of Dominance In Rowing In Asian Games From 1982 to 2018

The Asian Games have featured rowing competitions since the 1982 edition in New Delhi, India. In that inaugural year, China emerged as the top-performing nation in the sport. The subsequent editions also saw China’s dominance in rowing. In the 1986 Games hosted by Seoul, South Korea, China continued to excel in rowing. The trend persisted in the 1990 Asian Games held in Beijing, China, where the host nation once again displayed its rowing prowess. 

China’s rowing achievements remained remarkable moving forward to the 1994 Games in Hiroshima, Japan. The pattern of success continued in the following events as well. China maintained its strong position in rowing in 1998 in Bangkok, Thailand. 

The 2002 Games, hosted by Busan, South Korea, witnessed China’s rowing excellence yet again. The 2006 edition in Doha, Qatar, didn’t deter China’s rowing supremacy.

As the years progressed, the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, saw the host nation’s rowing team continue their impressive streak. This trend persisted in the 2014 Games hosted by Incheon, South Korea, with China’s rowers again demonstrating mastery. The most recent Games, which took place in 2018 in Jakarta–Palembang, Indonesia, also witnessed China’s exceptional rowing performance. 


Throughout the various editions of the Asian Games from 1982 to 2018, China consistently emerged as the standout nation in rowing, showcasing its dedication, training, and talent on the water.

China Leads Asian Games Rowing Victories & India Holds The 5th Spot


In rowing matches at the Asian Games, China has consistently reigned supreme, amassing 98 medals. The nation’s rowing athletes have clinched 92 gold, four silver, and two bronze medals.


Japan secures the second spot with a collection of 56 medals in rowing. At the same time, their gold count stands at a respectable nine and boasts an impressive 35 silvers and 12 bronze medals. 

South Korea

South Korea’s rowing accumulated 49 medals, including four gold medals, 23 silver medals, and 22 bronze medals. 


Uzbekistan’s also made their mark with a commendable performance, garnering 15 medals. At the same time, their gold count remains at 3, but 5 silver and seven bronze medals. 


India rounds off the top 5 nations in the Asian Games rowing medals table. With 23 medals, while their gold and silver counts are relatively modest at 2 and 5, respectively, their collection of 16 bronze medals contributes significantly to their overall tally.