Fireworks explode during the opening ceremony of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 19, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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The 17th Asian Games opened in a mulch-colored blaze of fireworks and carefully crafted K-Pop routines Friday, as athletes from the world's most populous region came together in pursuit of gold and glory in South Korea.Athletes dressed in colorful national garb, sharp suits and comfortable tracksuits waved to a crowd of 60,000, who offered enthusiastic welcomes to delegations from 45 countries including the South's belligerent neighbor, North Korea.The ceremony, dubbed "Dream of 4.5 billion people, One Asia," also featured traditional Korean performances of song, dance and poetry as athletes stood shoulder to shoulder behind the flags of 45 countries at the Incheon Asian Main Stadium.From weightlifting to wushu, rowing to rugby sevens and swimming to sepaktakraw, the Games will showcase elite Asian talent in 36 sports, with the first of 439 gold medals to be awarded in the women's 10 meter air pistol team event Saturday.After hosting the Asian Games in 1986 and 2002, and the Olympics in 1988, South Korea will stage the winter Olympics for the first time in Pyeongchang in four years' time.
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