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China’s Hangzhou Postpones Asian Games Over Covid-19 Surge


Fireworks illuminate the closing ceremony of the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010. Photo: Reuters

 

Authorities in Hangzhou have decided to postpone this year’s Asian Games scheduled to take place in September because of China’s Covid-19 surge.

The governing Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said on Friday that the multi-sports games, second in size only to the summer Olympics, was scheduled for September 10-25 in the Zhejiang provincial capital, 175 kilometres southwest of Shanghai.

The OCA said in a statement after its executive board meeting in Tashkent that the Hangzhou organising committee had been well prepared to deliver the games despite the global challenges.

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

“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.”

OCA acting president Randhir Singh told Reuters a task force has been set up to decide new dates for the Games.

“It’s because of the Covid-19 problem… that the Games had to be postponed by one year, by whatever months they decide on,” Singh said from Tashkent.

On Friday, the World University Games, scheduled for next month in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu, were also postponed, while the Asian Youth Games in Shantou were cancelled. Tashkent will host the next edition in 2025.

The annual elite athletics competition known as Diamond League, scheduled for Shenzhen on August 6, has been moved to Chorzow in Poland. A similar event that was to be held in Shanghai on July 30 has been cancelled.

 

  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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