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Asian Games 2022 In Hangzhou Postponed Due To COVID Scare, New Dates Soon

Several other sporting events had already been delayed in the country as China battles its latest COVID-19 outbreak.

Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 were scheduled to start on September 10, and conclude on September 25.
Hangzhou Asian Games 2022 were scheduled to start on September 10, and conclude on September 25. Logo: Asian Games 2022

The 2022 edition of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China have been postponed. Rumours were already doing rounds that the Games would be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (More Sports News)

State-owned broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV) on Friday reported that the director-general of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Husain Al-Musallam had announced that the 19th Asian Games, originally scheduled to be held in Hangzhou from September 10 to 25, would be postponed.

China has previously hosted the Asian Games twice -- Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.

Hours later, confirming the development, the OCA said in a statement: "Following detailed discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC), the OCA Executive Board (EB) today decided to postpone the 19th Asian Games."

"The new dates of the 19th Asian Games will be agreed between the OCA, the COC and the HAGOC and announced in the near future."

The release also confirmed the reason for the postponement, but said that the "name and the emblem of the 19th Asian Games will remain unchanged."

"HAGOC has been very well prepared to deliver the Games on time despite global challenges. However, the above decision was taken by all the stakeholders after carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games."

China had miraculously pulled off the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics, behind closed doors. But the several international sporting events in the country have been either cancelled or postponed because of the pandemic.

In March, China's financial hub Shanghai entered a sudden lockdown with its 25 million residents being ordered to stay home. Hangzhou lies near Shanghai.

China on Friday reported a total of 4,628 new COVID-19 cases,

Husain Al-Musallam had earlier said that "there is a possibility that it will be postponed". But Olympic Council of Malaysia president Norza Zakaria had assured that "the Asian Games 2022 in China is going ahead".

The XIX Asiad were scheduled to start on September 10, and conclude on September 25. And the 2022 Asian Para Games were scheduled to begin on October 9.

The 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, were also postponed by one year to 2021 due to the pandemic.

The OCA also said that the 3rd Asian Youth Games, which was scheduled for December 20-28 in Shantou, China has been cancelled.

The next Asian Youth Games will be held in 2025 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

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