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New dates announced for Hangzhou’s postponed Asian Games

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has announced today (Tuesday) that Hangzhou’s postponed Asian Games will now take place from September 23 to October 8 next year.

The multi-sport event had been due to take place from September 10-25 this year but the Games were postponed in May, with OCA citing the “pandemic situation” in China and the size of the event.

At the time, China was in the midst of its worst outbreak of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and the OCA said it acted following “detailed discussions” with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC).

A task force was created to finalise the new dates for the Games, which is eclipsed in scale as a sporting event only by the summer Olympics. Over the past two months, various discussions have been held between the COC, HAGOC and other stakeholders to find a window for the Games which did not conflict with other major international sporting events.

China also relinquished hosting rights to the 2023 Asian Cup national team football tournament amid the challenges created by its response to the pandemic.

Some 10 host cities were due to stage the championships from June 16 to July 16, 2023. The new Beijing Workers’ Stadium, which is set to be completed later this year, was to host the final.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) recently announced that it had received expressions of interest from Australia, Indonesia, South Korea and Qatar to replace China as the host of the tournament. The host nation will be announced on October 17.

Image: Charlie fong/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size