Hangzhou signs Asian Games legacy pact

Featured image credit: Hangzhou 2022

The Hangzhou Municipal Government has agreed a partnership with the Badminton World Federation (BWF), International Hockey Federation (FIH) and International Canoe Federation (ICF) which is designed to drive the legacy created by the staging of the ongoing Asian Games in the Chinese city.

The memorandum of cooperation with Hangzhou will seek to deliver “top international events” across the three sports in the wake of the Asian Games, which commenced on September 23 and is set to draw to a close on Sunday.

The Games, recognised as the second-largest multi-sport event after the Summer Olympic Games, were due to take place from September 10-25 last year, however the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) postponed the event due to the “pandemic situation” in China at the time.

The Games feature 40 sports, 61 disciplines and 481 events. Some 56 venues have been used over the course of the Games, with 12 new facilities having been built specifically for the event. With this in mind, Hangzhou officials are determined that infrastructure development for the Games does not go to waste following the event with a long-term vision to build a status as an international events city.

Evidence of this effort has already come to light with the BWF announcing in August that Hangzhou will stage the new season-ending World Tour Finals from 2023 to 2027, with the inaugural event taking place on December 13-17.

Speaking at the ceremony announcing the new Hangzhou pact, BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said: “I believe that after the Asian Games ends, there will be a lasting ‘Asian Games legacy’ effect. In Hangzhou, I have heard from various international sports colleagues… praising the Hangzhou Asian Games’ organisational work as unprecedentedly complete.”

Thomas Konietzko, president of the ICF, said that the Hangzhou Asian Games has created a good opportunity for the development, popularisation and promotion of canoeing events in China. After signing a contract with the ICF, there are plans to hold a multi-discipline Super Cup in October 2024, featuring four paddling disciplines.

Meanwhile, FIH president, Tayyab Ikram, added: “Hangzhou’s venues are very professional and comparable to Olympic standards. We hope to see Hangzhou actively utilising resources including venues in the future to vigorously develop international events. Our efforts will also benefit all Hangzhou citizens.”