By Duncan Mackay and Nick Butler in Incheon
Click refresh for latest updates. All times stated are South Korean
22:30 But for now it is goodnight on another warm evening here in South Korea. We will be back tomorrow at 09:00.
We will leave you with our photo gallery of the Opening Ceremony, which can be found here.
22:28 We will be cover all the medals and all the best of the rest of the action throughout the day.
We will also be focusing on the OCA General Assembly that is also taking place tomorrow, with future editions of the Asian Games and Asian Youth Games among items up for discussion.
22:26 A total of 21 sports get underway tomorrow. Medals will be won in synchronised swimming, track cycling, equestrian, fencing, judo, shooting, weightlifting and wushu.
22:20 So, as the crowds leave the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium and begin the hunt for buses and cars to take them back across the bridge to the city centre, the dust is beginning to settle on what has been widely seen as a successful Opening Ceremony.
There is a slight element of fear about how long it is going to take us to get back, so we are going to wrap things up sharpish. But I have to say first, it is my fourth Opening Ceremony of the year, but the short five minutes or so when Gangnam Style was belting out just then was probably my personal highlight of the lot.
22:08 A mixture of the serious and the fun that was. From the significant and pleasing cheers that greeted the arrival of North Korea to the theatrics of DJ Psy. A good introduction to a country, continent and sporting event that is combining the serious and the successful, and the traditional and the modern.
Roll on the sporting action!
22:02 And on that, intrinsically K-Pop, note, the Incheon 2014 Opening Ceremony is over!
"Lots of Korean officials forming a human wall as 'Gangnam Style' starts. They don't want a repeat of what happened at the Closing Ceremony of Glasogw 2014 when Kylie Minogue's appearance was gatecrashed by an over-enthusiastic publicity-seeking Australian steeplechaser, clearly."
- Editor Duncan Mackay on security, Incheon style...
Amazing how many athletes have celebrated with a rendition of the Gangnam Style dance - explained in the video below - ranging from boxer Manny Pacquiao, to footballer Edison Cavani, via tennis player Novak Djokovic, West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle and the New Zealand netball team.
20:59 I won't bother with translation. You get the gist... One of the most culturally symbolic, and commercially successful, songs of the 21st century...
Op, op, op, op
Oppa Gangnam Style
Op, op, op, op
Oppa Gangnam Style
Eh, sexy lady
Op, op, op, op
Oppa Gangnam Style
Eh, sexy lady
Op, op, op, op
20:57 And here it is. It's only DJ Psy performing Gangnam Style!
20:55 We spoke about how it was gentle and sober music earlier. Well, it is not now. Loud, booming and entertaining...
21:49 Could Mo Farah, double Olympic and world 5,000m and 10,000m champion, have pinched the "Mobot" off South Korean actress, Lee Young Ae?
"The Torch has been inspired by the red crown crane of Incheon, I am told by an Incheon 2014 official. Legend has it that when the crane flaps it wings, it sends the winds of harmony across Asia, he said. It's obviously not done a lot of flapping of its wings lately, that's all I can say."
- Editor Duncan Mackay on the inspiration behind the Incheon 2014 Torch. It is about to be lit...
21:42 Five carriers of the Flame: Lee Seungyeop, 'a beloved baseball hitter by all Koreans'; professional golfer, Park Inbee; speed skater Lee Kyouhyuk; basketball legend Park Chansook; and tennis pioneer, Lee Hyungtaik.
And then actress Lee Young Ae lights the Flame.
Extreme XPL, a Taekwondo Performance Group, are on the stage as this is going on. I didn't notice, but apparently Lee Young Ae just performed the "Mobot" - the tapping of the head move associated with Britain's double Olympic champion distance runner, Mo Farah.
It looks like the move has traversed the "sporting dance-move" equivalent of the Silk Road to reach South Korea... Or maybe "sporting celebratory move"...
21:38 South Korean K-Pop sensations JYJ performing their hit Only One, the song of Incheon 2014, as the Flamelighting approaches.
Formed in 2010, the band consists of three members - Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu - with their initials making up the band name. Get it? And here is a gem of a rogue fact for you. JYG are the first K-Pop act to have ever performed in Chile, which they did in 2012.
21:34 A smaller group of four now recite the Athletes' and Judges' Oath. Archer Oh Jinhyek and fencer Nam Hyunhee are the two athletes. Kim Honglae and Suh Heajung are the two judges, representing the sports of hockey and rhythmic gymnastics respectively.
"The day is finally here! The Asian Games get underway tonight with an Opening Ceremony in Incheon, South Korea. Jordan has its biggest ever delegation competing in 12 sports so please send your 'good luck' messages below for our athletes to see. Let's get behind our young men and women on the quest for success!"
- A message from the Jordan Olympic Committee.
21:29 The OCA Flag is now being brought in. By eight different figures:
"Interestingly, the Asian Games Opening Ceremony doesn't appear to have penetrated Twitter that much. There is, of course, cultural reasons for that. Both China and South Korea have very successful social media networks of their own in their own languages. The only real impact the event seems to have had on Twitter so far is concerning the appearance earlier of K-pop boy band Exo, who perform in both Korean and Mandarin. I had never heard of them before tonight but, the young volunteer next to me, assures me they're "really cool". I will take her word for it. I am particularly looking forward to seeing IOC President Thomas Bach performing the moves to 'Gangam Style'. If he is serious about getting on down with the world's youth then this is his chance to prove it. Anyone can take a 'selfie' but you've got to really cool to be able to do the moves to 'Gangam Style'."
- That is a challenge Mr President, from insidethegames editor Duncan Mackay. Show us your moves!
21:22 The Games are now declared open by South Korean leader, Park Geun-hye.
Incheon 2014 has begun!
21:20 Next us is OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah.
"Although the Asian Games belong to the Olympic Council of Asia, they also belong to YOU – the athletes, the officials, the citizens of Incheon, Korea and Asia.
"These are YOUR games, so let us unite and share the excitement and the passion over the next 16 days.
He praises athletes, volunteers, the media and sponsors before expressing his "sincere thanks and congratulations to the Organising Committee under the inspiring leadership of its President, Mr Kim Young Soo".
Sheikh Ahmad concludes: "To Incheon Metropolitan City, to the National Government in Seoul, to the Korean Olympic Committee, and to you, the citizens of Incheon, for allowing us into your home to celebrate the Asian Games!
21:16 The first speech tonight is by Incheon 2014 chief Kim Youngsoo. The unity of people across Asia is his focus, as you could probably have guessed given tonight's theme.
"Ladies and Gentlemen! Please, do not spare your applause for the aspirations and dreams of these young athletes who have invested their passion on the way to being able to stand here today; and for the hopeful future of Asia! Let us lead by demonstrating the true spirit of sportsmanship, and show the world the best of Asia!"
21:10 And then, last but certainly not least, it is South Korea!
The host nation are led by London 2012 Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kim Hyeon-woo. What an honour to lead your country out as the Flagbearer at a home Games.
21:09 Paakistan, Palestine, Philippines and Hong Kong parade next. Their four flowers are the winter jasmine, olive tree, Arabian jasmine and Honkong Orchid, respectively.
21:06 Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Taipei - who get a good cheer - Tajikistan, Thailand and Turkmenistan are out next as we get towards the end.
Football goalkeeper Kawin Thamstachanan is the Thai Flagbearer. He plies his club trade for Muangthong United although he formerly played for Bosnian and Herzegovinan team Dragan Talajic.
He hasn't let in a goal yet, as Thailand have swept past East Timor and the Maldives, 3-0 and 2-0. Phuket in Thailand, of course, will host the Asian Beach Games later this year.
"Got to feel a bit sorry for United Arab Emirates, who are one of the few countries in the world who don't have a national flower. The national emblems of the UAE are falcon, the dhow, the palm tree and the oryx. but they have never got round to choosing a flower. I wonder if the Incheon 2014 organisers knew that before they came up with the idea of introducing every country along with their national flower?"
- Editor Duncan Mackay on the plants of the United Arab Emirates. Is each emblem associated with a different Emirate I wonder?
Naming the seven constituent Emirates is a good quiz question. I can name Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The others? Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain.
21:01 Then it is Kazakhstan, Qatar, Cambodia and Kuwait. Qatar is the location for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, while Almaty in Kazakhstan is hoping to host the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in that year.
Kuwait, meanwhile, is the base for the Olympic Council of Asia headquarters. OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah is also from the Gulf nation.
20:59 China, the nation we expect to top the medals table in Incheon, are next. Their team consists of a staggering 899 athletes. They are led by Lei Sheng, who won the men's foil fencing gold at London 2012.
20:56 Winding back a moment to before North Korea, Iran were led out by the reigning Olympic, Asian and former world super heavyweight weightlifting champion, Salimi Behdad.
Not many teams can claim to be spearheader by the world's strongest man.
20:55 Great to see that North and South unity there. Part of what international sport is all about.
"A great reception for North Korea, who wave their national flags - officially banned in the South - a little hesitantly. The fact they are receiving so many cheers shouldn't be a surprise. Remember, the Korean War divided the nation and many people in the South still have relatives in that part of the country.The South and North are still officially at ever since because armistice, rather than a peace treaty, was signed to end the Korean War in 1953. Incheon played a leading role in that conflict because in 1950 it was the location for a successful amphibious invasion by 75,000 pro-southern United Nations troops. North Korea subsequently boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Summer Olympics, both in Seoul, but took part in the 2002 Asian Games in Busan."
- Editor Duncan Mackay on the great reception for North Korea.
20:50 Iran then India then Indonesia and then Japan. Four heavyweights of Asian sport have made their entrance.
Japan's 716-strong team is captained by weightlifter Hiromi Miyake, with archer Kaori Kawanaka as Flagbearer . It is the first time the country has selected women for both roles.
20:46 Oman, Jordan, Uzbekistan and Iraq are the next four, with the latter two countries both represented by the same flag. Any guesses? No...well, it's a red rose.
Incidentally, as I probably should have mentioned earlier, the teams are coming out according to the South Korean alphabet, which is why Nepal were first.
20:42 Singapore, United Arab Emirate, Afghanistan and Yemen are up next. Sprinter Gary Yeo is performing the honours for Singapore.
The latter two are two other war-torn nations that is is great to see competing here. Afghanistan will be hoping to improve upon the cricket silver medal they won in Guangzhou four years ago. They are one of the world's most improving nations in the sport.
20:38 Bangladesh, Vietnam, Bhutan and Brunei Darussalam - or Brunei Jerusalem as someone referred to it as during the Glasgow 2014 Opening Ceremony - are the next four to parade. Their respective flowers are the white water lily, red lutus, blue poppy, and simpur.
And then it is Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and a big cheer for Syria.
Sri Lanka were the subject of much of the discussing at the OCA Executive Board Meeting earlier, as to where the 2017 Asian Youth Games will be held. Read more here.
20:34 Next it is Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar and Bahrain. Four nations from different corners of the continent.
it is 5,873 kilometres from Maldives to Mongolia. That is 1,200km further than New York to Moscow...
National shooting team member Ali Hussain is carrying the Bahrain Flag. The team are 120 strong - although only 30 are parading tonight - competing in the eight sports of athletics, equestrian, triathlon, shooting, handball, sailing, cycling and bowling.
20:29 Laos, Lebanon, Macau China and Malaysia are the next four out. Lebanon has no National Flower, but is represented by the cedar, of course, which is on their flag.
Malaysian Flagbearer is squash superstar Nicol David.
20:26 And now we have the Flagbearers. Interestingly, we are hearing an explanation of the National Flower of each of the 45 nations here.
Up first is Nepal, whose 196-strong team's flower is a rhododendron, and then it is East Timor., which has no National Flower, but is renowned for sandal wood - known as Ai Cameli.
East Timor, known also as Timor-Leste, is competing in its fourth Asian Games since the nation was recognised as an independent state from Indonesia.
20:21 The South Korean National Anthem is now played, and then, we have a final display of dancing.
The presentation of athletes is now imminent.
20:18 Next we have the entry of the South Korean National Flag, witheight Flagbearers participating.
Aden Bay, incidentally, is a ship which rescued members of a South Korean chemical tanker whose ship was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea in a dramatic raid in January, 2011.
20:14 Telephones, railroads and Incheon Airport - "one of the best airports in the world" - are also acknowledged, as the cultural section concludes. So it is more a celebration of Korea's relationship with, and contribution to, the world then anything else.
20:09 And then we have a nod to the countries nautical history as a wooden ship appears in the centre of the stage. After Sochi 2014, ships have been a repetitive them of Opening Ceremonies this year.
20:05 Back to the Ceremony and we have a chapter to mark Asia's collaboration with the rest of the world.
"Organisers will hope the ceremony can create a much-needed buzz around the Games after slow ticket sales, just 18 per cent early this week, created an air of apathy. There are concerns that some events might be empty of spectators," said a Joong Ang Ilbo newspaper editorial earlier today. 'We urge the whole Korean people to pay greater attention to the Asiad and show support so that the games become a success.' As Delia Smith, the famous English cook, once told Norwich City fans when she was the chair of the then Premier League club. 'Where are you? Where are you? Let's be having you! Come on!"
- Has Delia Smith ever been mentioned in the context of the Asian Games before? Editor Duncan Mackay has just set a trend.
Bet you didn't know that...
My best wishes to our athletes for 2014 Asian Games at Incheon. I am sure they will make India proud! @incheonAG2014en
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets his encouragement to his country's team. Let's hope it lifts the mood in the camp (see 19:32 for more on the problems faced by the team so far.)
19:53 But then lightning flashes and thunder fills the air, followed by heavy rain and shaking land. People are scattered in fear, and the land of peace becomes frozen in the dark. At a signal of one person standing on the frozen land, the land starts to crack and separate. As the land is separating at an uncontrollable speed, water flows into the gap and the water becomes oceans. As the continent is being separated, people become apart unfortunately.
It is all imagery, but a powerful way to document the history of the world's largest, and arguably most influential continent where 21st century international relations and economics are concerned.
Not to mention 21st century sport, of course, with Asia hosting both the 2018 and 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and then the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- People are now lost in sorrow and the one, who is left alone on a small piece of the land, is collapsed in despair.
19:48 The current section is telling the story of Asia.
"In the beginning, the whole world was built upon one continuous land and there lived people peacefully as a part of nature which had sacred life just like any other trees, animals, plants and flowers. At that time, people lived in harmony with birds, horses, fishes with wings and mystical animals under the sun while people all shared the dream of the world of unknown, filled with mystics and fantasies. Like this, the pleasant moment when people are sharing same dream is expressed through dance. "The time when Asia was one" is the past left and buried in our memory; and also the future dreamed by all of us who desire for peace.
- The first chapter of the story of Asia on harmony.
19:44 The identity of the final Torchbearer for events such as the Olympics and the Asian Games is usually a closely kept secret. But the Organisers of the 17th Asian Games let the cat out of the bag ahead of the Opening Ceremony.
They have revealed the Torch Bearer helped spread Korean culture and had established an elementary school in China. Only one person fits the bill: Korean actress Lee Young-ae.
Lee is best known for her lead role in Korean historical drama, "Dae Jang Geum," which is popular in many parts of Asia, including China. She is also known for her charity work in education and founded the Lee Young-Ae Elementary School near Hangzhou, Eastern China.
19:41 And something far more upbeat now, and less Asian, as Viva La Vida by British band Coldplay booms out.
Asian unity is a theme already being strongly emphasised tonight. And what better location to show that than in Korea, a place where a lack of unity between North and South has defined the last 60 years.
19:38 The lyrics of Song for the Asiad just being played:
Today we cannot help but sing.
of Asia with its millennia of history,
of Asia with its millennia of wisdom.
of the days and nights of Asia
with millennia of tomorrows deep in its heart.
Sing of Asia today,
full of joy.
Sing of the youth of Asia.
Sing of Asia's Incheon
Asia's eyes and
Asia's burning hearts have gathered.
The curtain is rising.
The gate is opening.
The gongs at the harbor echo afar.
Hurl with all your might
Confront each other with all your might
Fall and stand up again
with Asia's long history,
with Asia's new friendship,
we begin Asia's new history
Peoples of Asia
Men and women of Asia
Sing embracing mainland Asia,
the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean.
the glory of Asia
19:36 And what is a dae-geum, I hear you ask? A large bamboo transverse flute used in traditional Korean music, with a buzzing membrane that gives it a special timbre. It is used in court, aristocratic, and folk music, as well as in contemporary classical music, popular music, and film scores.
There you go, don't say you don't learn about different cultures on insidethegames.
19:34 Back to the action and the "Cultural Performance" has begun, with culture being a word synonymous with all sporting events these days.
19:32 Men's hockey team captain Sardar Singh will carry India's flag, although officials are not exactly making it sound like an honour. "Actually all the people were asked and we have been trying to ask the coaches about who is available," said Chef de Mission Adille Sumariwalla.
Earlier today, Indian Olympic Association officials had come in for stinging criticism from shooter Abhinav Bindra, who at Beijing 2008 claimed 10 metre air rifle gold to become the first Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal. He is not happy he could not travel here directly from the World Shooting Championships in Granada, Spain, as the event organisers were unable to send accreditation cards for the Indian shooting squad because their entries had not been sent on time.
"You know what, I have got used to these things, nothing surprises me anymore," he said. To read more click here.
19:23 At Nanjing 2014, we had the Flag procession and speeches first, before the theatre of the ceremony itself, but here, after a short video speech by Yoo Jeongbok, Mayor of the host city, we are onto the action, with some typically slow and rhythmic music.
Rather than a story of the hosting nation, we have been told, the Ceremony is about the story of Asia. The story to project Asia is developed and the future desired by Asians is presented through the past and present of Asia which attract hearts and minds of every person even without inserting any grand meaning to the story.
19:18 A brief lull then, as we prepare for the start. But then the music begins, fireworks fly, lights flicker, and the Opening Ceremony of Incheon 2014 has BEGUN!
19:14 A countdown, in South Korean, is now beginning with only minutes to go until the Opening Ceremony begins. In fact, we are actually practicing for the countdown, which will begin soon.
"Please do not leave your seats and enjoy a few moments of silence," the announcer is requesting now. There's some dissent going on in the Media Tribunes, with several journalists daring to rise.
19:10 A special lighting device that has never been used before at an Opening Ceremony has been deposited on every chair. "We sincerely request you do not break or damage them, so that everyone can enjoy the Opening Ceremony," the announcer pleads.
This is becoming a bit of a theme for us so far. We had a long lecture about not breaking anything when checking into our hotel in the Media Village last night.
18:59 Another interesting factor tonight is the presence of North Korea. Remember, North and South Korea are still officially at war, with an armistice rather than a peace treaty signed to end the Korean War in 1953.
It will be interesting to see what reaction they get tonight.
18:52 State of the art the venue may be, but we are slightly surprised that, in South Korea of all places, the Wi/Fi is not ideal. Our cabled connection for laptops is strong but we are struggling to connect our phones so far, which explains the lack of photos so far.
We will try and sort that out before action begins.
18:45 We're onto some slightly rockier guitar music now as the lights dim and the stadium continues to fill. The Stadium was completed in July 2014, and, after the Games, it will be used mostly for athletics meets. It has been designed with an initial capacity of between 60,000 spectators. After the Games, capacity will be reduced to 30,000 spectators.
Athletics competition will take place here from next week, with the stadium notable for its use of eco-friendly energy, such as solar heat and terrestrial heat, as well as state-of-the-art information technologies.
18:40 Why is the Opening Ceremony starting at 19:18?
"In terms of why the Opening Ceremony is starting at 19:18, well, in terms of notable events in that year, Korean students in Tokyo discussed the idea of independence. There was also a flu epidemic here, but I'm sure both of those factors are purely coincidental, unless anyone know's otherwise?"
- Editor Duncan Mackay speculating why the Opening Ceremony is beginning at such a precise time. The First World War ended in that year also, of course, but did not affect these parts too much.
Sochi's Opening Ceremony started at 20:14, which was slightly more understandable...
18:34 There were still some people queuing to buy tickets when we arrived at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium a little while ago - after an hour long bus journey from the Media Centre - and I would say the Stadium is about half full at the moment. A good atmosphere outside as well, with people bustling around in an excited manner, with plenty of South Korean flags in tow.
18:27 It shouldn't be too gentle and sober later however, when DJ Psy struts his stuff. This gem of a video has over two billion YouTube hits and has sparked the emergence of K-Pop on the international scene.
We were shocked Gangnam Style wasn't used during the Pyeongchang 2018 segment of the Sochi 2014 Closing Ceremony earlier this year. But it is great Incheon are making amends.
18:23 There is just under an hour until the Ceremony begins properly, at precisely 19:18 for a reason we can't yet quite fathom, but we have some colourful and vibrant "pre-show" entertainment.
This is my fourth Opening Ceremony of the year, amazingly, and I am getting quite use to these pre-shows.
18:17 We will preview all of that, but before then, we have the Opening Ceremony to focus on, with the highlight, as far as we and most other people are concerned, being the scheduled appearance of a certain DJ Psy, and his hit, Gangnam Style.
18:12 Check out the Incheon 2014 section of our website for what has happened here so far, as 45 National Olympic Committees converge here to compete in 439 events across 36 different sports.
18:07 It's barely three weeks since the Closing Ceremony of the Summer Youth Olympic Games but we are back in the Far East - albeit with the youthful vigour of Paul Osborne replaced by the more rugged experience of editor Duncan Mackay - for another feast of top level sport.