Asian Games in China 'going ahead'

Asian Games in China 'going ahead'

Malaysian sports official douses speculation that Covid could force postponement of Hangzhou event

The Zhejiang Huanglong Sport Centre Stadium in Hangzhou is scheduled to be the main venue for the Asian Games in September. Chinese officials say the event will feature the same kind of ultra-strict Covid protocols used at the Beijing Winter Olympics. (AFP Photo)
The Zhejiang Huanglong Sport Centre Stadium in Hangzhou is scheduled to be the main venue for the Asian Games in September. Chinese officials say the event will feature the same kind of ultra-strict Covid protocols used at the Beijing Winter Olympics. (AFP Photo)

The 2022 Asian Games in China will go ahead, the Olympic Council of Malaysia said on Saturday, denying claims that the event faced the possibility of being postponed.

The Olympic-sized event is scheduled to be held in September in Hangzhou, a major metropolitan area less than 200 kilometres southwest of Shanghai.

Shanghai is currently grappling with a major coronavirus emergency, with its roughly 25 million residents in a weeks-long lockdown and cases increasing by more than 20,000 a day.

An official working with the Olympic Council of Asia, who did not want to be named, had told AFP on Thursday that no decision had been made about the Hangzhou event but there was a possibility of postponement.

However, Olympic Council of Malaysia president Norza Zakaria disputed that.

“The Asian Games 2022 in China is going ahead,” he told AFP on Saturday. “We have checked with OCA (the Olympic Council of Asia) and the organising committee.”

Most international sports events have been on hold in China since the pandemic, although Beijing hosted the Winter Olympics in a strict bio-bubble in February.

All 56 competition venues for the Games in Hangzhou have already been completed, Chinese organisers said this month, promising to publish a virus control plan that takes its cue from the Winter Olympics.

Hangzhou is scheduled to hold the Games from Sept 10-25, becoming the third Chinese host after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.


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