Qatar's women's basketball team leaves the court after forfeiting their women's basketball game against Mongolia at Hwaseong Sports Complex during the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 24, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Min/Sports Chosun
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The issue of religious freedom took center stage at the Asian Games Wednesday when Qatari women forfeited a basketball game after refusing to remove the Islamic head scarf, dealing another blow to an event that trumpets diversity and inclusiveness. Organizers of Incheon's Asian Games, which have welcomed 9,500 athletes from 45 countries across the length and breadth of the world's most populous continent, said their hands were tied by International Basketball Federation (FIBA) regulations.After five days of competition, China top the medal table on 59 golds, followed by the Koreans on 26 and Japan on 20 .China's dominance in the pool continued with four more titles, including a fourth gold for teenager Shen Duo, while Japan's Kosuke Hagino also won his fourth title of the Games.The issue of diversity was raised even before the Games began Sept. 19 when Saudi Arabia revealed that its 199-strong team did not include any female athletes.South Korea's strong female contingent picked up three more golds Wednesday, including 50 meters rifle prone team event at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range.
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