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At the Games, what does a scream mean? Tactics. Intimidation. Nerves.

Uzbekistan’s Paola Pliego (left) and Singapore’s Jolie Lee showing their emotions during their women’s sabre team quarter-finals match. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

A picture is worth a thousand words. Yeah, big deal. Give me a scream instead any day, for in sport it tells a hundred stories. You might believe this Asian Games is just to be seen, but no, it is to be heard. Listen and you can hear effort, relief, vindication, pain, joy. Sound here is pleasure, tactic, ruse and a high-decibel warning.

At the Tokyo Olympics, audio engineers set up 3,600 microphones across all arenas, even at the archery. Just to capture the hiss of a travelling arrow. Here in Hangzhou, microphones dot the landscape, but in one venue they’re redundant.

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