Hong Kong was the venue for the fifth East Asian Games (EAG) which were held from 5th to 13th December 2009. Previous venues have been;

1993 Shanghai (China)
1997 Busan (Korea)
2001 Osaka (Japan)
2005 Macau (China SAR)

The organisation and implementation of the games was the responsibility of 2009 East Asian Games (Hong Kong) Limited which was established in 2005. Total expenditure on the games was originally estimated at HK$240 million of which HK$123 million was from government funding with the balance to be raised from admission tickets, concerts, merchandising etc and cash sponsorship. In April 2011 figures released by the government showed actual expenditure to be HK$291.1 million with HK$111.1 million of the approved government funding of HK$123 million being used. The games were expected to attract around 10,000 overseas visitors to Hong Kong. The official mascots for the games were "Dony" and "Ami" (seen below).

Mascots "Dony" and "Ami" with (from left) the Chief Executive Officer of the 2009 East Asian Games (Hong Kong) Ltd, Mr Johnny Woo; the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Thomas Chow; the Chairman of the 5th East Asian Games Planning Committee Mr Timothy Fok; the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing; the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mrs Carrie Yau; and Chief Producer & Chief Planner of Opening Ceremony of 2009 EAG, Mr Lu Jiankang at Press Conference on 16th February 2009.

There were nine participating countries/regions; China, Chinese Taipei, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macau, Mongolia and Guam.
The games featured 23 sports with over 3,000 athletes competing for 281 gold medals. The opening ceremony took place at the Cultural Centre Piazza in Tsim Sha Tsui on 5th December and included a large-scale firework display, boat parade representing the nine participating countries and regions and dances against the backdrop of Victoria Harbour.

Spectators enjoying the spectacular opening ceremony at Victoria Harbour on 5th December 2009

The main venue athletics was the newly built HK$350 million Tsueng Kwan O Sports Ground which has a capacity of 3,500. Thirteen other venues were refurbished or upgraded to meet the requirements of the games. Hong Kong Jockey Club made a donation of HK$40 million to the games of which HK$22 million was used for construction of a new BMX park in Kwai Chung which was completed in October 2009 and was used by the Hong Kong Cycling Team for practice prior to the games before being opened to the public.

The newly-built Tsuen Kwan O Sports Ground, opened in May 2009 to celebrate the 200-day countdown to the Games was the venue for the athletics events

The closing ceremony was held on 13th December 2009 at Hong Kong Coliseum, Hung Hom and featured an array of pop stars from around the region and the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. In keeping with tradition the baton was passed to the next host city, Tianjin in China, where the 2013 East Asian Games will be held.


G = Gold, S = Silver, B = Bronze

CHINA                                       113G, 73S, 46B

JAPAN                                        62G, 58S, 70B

SOUTH KOREA                              39G, 45S, 59B

HONG KONG                                 26G, 31S, 53B

TAIPEI                                           8G, 34S, 47B

MACAU                                          8G, 9S, 12B


MONGOLIA                                     0G, 4S, 16S

GUAM                                            0G, 0S, 1B

The highlight of the Games was the progress of hosts, Hong Kong, football team to the final of the competition at Hong Kong Stadium on 12th December where a 4-2 victory over Japan after extra-time and penalties in front of almost 32,000 spectators and a huge TV audience saw them earn the gold medal.

Hong Kong defender Chan Wai-ho, who scored a crucial goal in the clash with World Cup qualifiers South Korea at Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground on 3rd December 2009, is surrounded by elated team-mates. Hong Kong produced a shock result winning 4-1 and later went on to win the football competition with an unexpected 4-2 victory on penalties over Japan in front of a crowd of almost 32,000 at Hong Kong Stadium on 12th December 2009

Supporting events included a free carnival "EAG Cultural Extravaganza" organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department was held at Hong Kong Cultural Centre on 12th December 2009. The carnival featured a variety of cultural performances by groups from some of the participating countries/regions.

                      Rhythmic drum performers at the EAG Cultural Extravaganza

Senior officials indicted that Hong Kong may bid to host the 2019 Asian Games if the 2009 East Asian Games were judged a success. The next Asian Games, the 16th, takes place in Guangzhou, China in 2010 followed by Incheon, South Korea in 2014. By the time of the 2019 event Hong Kong would have a large multi-purpose stadium on the site of the old Kai Tak airport.

China's Huang Hang-ping is challenged for the ball by two Chinese Taipei players as she eyes the net during play on the opening day of the basketball competition on 2nd December. The closely-contested match ended in China winning 69-61

Delegation members of the nine participating countries/regions pose for a group photo at the EAG Flag Raising Ceremony at Olympic Square in Hong Kong Park on 4th December


Ticket sales commenced on 31st August 2009 with some 210,000 of the 437,000 total being for public sale. Prices ranged from HK$50 to HK$300. Many events held in small capacity venues were quickly sold out and although many tickets remained unsold for some competitions such as rugby sevens the Hong Kong football team's unexpected progress to the competition final saw an attendance of almost 32,000 for the final at Hong Kong Stadium. 120,000 tickets were bought by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for free distribution to students. In April 2011 it was revealed that only 69% of the 210,000 tickets for public sale were sold and only 22% of 44,974 guest tickets were used.


AQUATICS                  Kowloon Park Swimming Pool
ATHLETICS                 Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground
BADMINTON               Queen Elizabeth 
 Tseung Kwan O Sports                           BASKETBALL              Hong Kong Coliseum & Western Park Sports Centre        BODYBUILDING           Tsueng Kwan O Sports Centre                         BOWLING                   Hong  Kong International Trade & Exhibition Centre
CUE SPORTS               Hong Kong International Trade & Exhibition Centre
CYCLING                    BMX –Kwai Chung Gin Drinker’s Bay
                                Indoor Cycling – Tseung Kwan O Sports Centre
                                Road Cycling – Public roads in New Territories
DANCE SPORT             Hong Kong International Trade & Exhibition Centre
FOOTBALL                 Hong Kong Stadium &
                                Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground
HOCKEY                     King’s Park Hockey Ground
JUDO                         Shek Kip Mei Park Sports Centre
ROWING                     Shatin Rowing Centre
RUGBY SEVENS           Hong Kong Stadium
SHOOTING                  South China Athletic Association
SQUASH                     Aberdeen Tennis & Squash Centre & 
                                Hong Kong Park Sports Centre &
                                Hong Kong Squash Centre
TABLE-TENNIS            Queen Elizabeth Stadium
TAEKWONDO              Shek Kip Mei Park Sports Centre
TENNIS                      Victoria Park Tennis Centre
VOLLEYBALL             Hong Kong Coliseum
WEIGHTLIFTING          Lai Chi Kok Park Sports Centre
WINDSURFING            Stanley Main Beach Water Sports Centre
WUSHU                     Western Park Sports Centre


To enhance the public’s interest and understanding of the games a free exhibition gallery was opened at Hong Kong Sports Centre in advance of the Games. The exhibition contained seven thematic zones detailing;

THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT – an introduction to the evolvement of the Olympic Movement with collections including medals, torches and posters.

THE EAST ASIAN GAMES – an introduction to the origin of the EAG and information on previous EAG. 

HONG KONG SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT – Highlights of Hong Kong athlete’s achievements and displays of souvenirs and mementos. 

HONG KONG SPORTING COLLECTIONS – Display of precious souvenirs donated to Hong Kong by China and overseas sporting organisations 

HONG KONG - SPORTS EVENTS CAPITAL – a brief history of previous major international sports competitions in Hong Kong and display of souvenirs 

2009 EAST ASIAN GAMES – updates on preparations for the games and display of models of venues

THEMATIC EXHIBITION – a showcase of souvenirs and mementos of major sporting events which is changed periodically


Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games Gallery, Hong Kong Park Sports Centre

A series of roving exhibitions throughout Hong Kong to promote the games was organised by the government's Information Services Department in conjunction with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the Home Affairs Department and the 2009 East Asian Games (Hong Kong) Limited. Large scale roving exhibitions commenced at Tuen Mun Town Plaza from March 27th to 29th followed by Olympian City 2 in April, Times Square in May and six other shopping malls between June and November. Additionally thirty-six smaller scale exhibitions were held in various districts until December. In support of the games a series of free walk-in exercise sessions was organised by LCSD between June 1st and August 6th 2009 enabling members of the public to participate in exercises supervised by qualified instructors at various parks and leisure centres. At the end of June a " city dress-up programme" was launched to enhance the atmosphere leading up to the Games and this initiative includes giant wall banners and billboards in prominent locations, lamp post bunting and footbridge banners.

East Asian Games "roving exhibition" at Tuen Mun Town Plaza

During mid-August three MTR trains decorated with emblems, slogans, mascots and the 22 competition events commenced running to help publicise the games. Decorated with graphics of the EAG mascots "Dony" and "Ami" displaying the 22 competition events the visually attractive trains are running along the Island Line, Kwun Tong Line and Tsuen Wan Line to raise public awareness of the games and to enlist public support and participation.
Dony and Ami images have also been plastered on both sides of the train doors of these decorated trains to greet passengers entering and alighting the train compartments.

Hong Kong International Airport was dressed up since mid-August with EAG banners and display boards, including in the arrivals hall and baggage hall, to spread the message to overseas visitors that Hong Kong was home of the 5th EAG.

Images of Dony and Ami images are on the doors of these decorated trains to greet passengers entering and alighting the train compartments

On August 29th the 100-day countdown to the opening of the Games was marked with a 10.2km TORCH RELAY with the theme "Light the Way to the EAG" involving 65 torch-bearers, mainly local athletes. Between September and November the relay will be carried on by over 500 schools throughout Hong Kong.


Hong Kong's only Olympic medallist, Lee Lai-shan who won gold for windsurfing in Atlanta in 1996 was the last torch bearer in the torch relay and lit the cauldron in Golden Bauhinia Square

Nine public hospitals were designated for the provision of emergency medical services and admission of athletes, officials and related parties and in accordance with usual practice at large-scale sports events free medical services were provided. Prior to the Games over 100 Hospital Authority staff volunteers and representatives took an oath at a Flag Presentation Ceremony to provide professional and quality medical services to participants and guests of the Games.

Games television broadcasting rights were sold to eighteen broadcasters including seven from Hong Kong, five from the mainland and also broadcasters from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Taipei. A media centre was set up at Hong Kong Central Library in Causeway Bay capable of seating over 250 journalists. There were 2416 accredited journalists elegible to cover the Games of which almost 90% were from local media organisations.

Hong Kong Observatory provided real-time weather information, forecasts and warnings for all outdoor events although unlike during the Olympic Equestrian Events held in Hong Kong in 2008 the risk of severe weather such as tropical cyclones and rainstorms during the Games was low and a dedicated website provided weather information for the Games

Vessels participating in the opening ceremony arrived in Hong Kong about two weeks before the Games with the vessel used as the floating stage being moored off Hong Kong Cultural Centre at Tsim Sha Tsui Public Piers and vessels representing the nine participating countries were moored at Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter. The vessels were decorated to showcase the characteristics of each participating country by Beijing Beiao Grand Cultural and Sports Events Ltd, organisers of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. After the opening ceremony the vessels were moored off Wan Chai waterfront to allow the public to take pictures.

Vessels representing the nine participating countries moored at Kwun Tong Typhoon Shelter awaiting the opening ceremony on December 5th.