Asian Games postponed until 2023 over COVID

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The Asian Games scheduled to take place in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September has been postponed until 2023 because of the COVID-19 situation, the governing Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said on Friday.

The 19th edition of the multi-sports Games, second in size only to the Summer Olympics, was scheduled to take place from 10-25 Sept. in the capital of Zhejiang province, some 175 kilometres southwest of China’s financial centre Shanghai.

The OCA said in a statement after its executive board meeting in Tashkent that the Hangzhou organising committee (HAGOC) had been well prepared to deliver the Games despite the ‘global challenges’.

“However, the decision was taken by all stakeholders after carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games,” it added.

The new dates for the Games would be announced ‘in the near future’.

“The name and the emblem of the 19th Asian Games will remain unchanged, and the OCA believes that the Games will achieve complete success through the joint efforts of all parties.”

Organisers had said in early April that all 56 competition venues for the Games had been completed as the city prepared to host more than 11,000 athletes from 44 nations and territories.

“With the support and guidance of the OCA and the Chinese Olympic Committee, we will continue to do a good job in the preparatory work and believe that the postponed Hangzhou Asian Games will be a complete success,” HAGOC said on the Chinese version of their website.

(Reuters)