Hangzhou wins Asian Games bid

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - ByWANG YE in Hangzhou and SUN XIAOCHEN in Bei­jing

Fol­low­ing Bei­jing’s suc­cess­ful bid for the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, Hangzhou will bring another ma­jor sport­ing event to China, as the Zhe­jiang pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal was se­lected on Wed­nes­day as host of the 2022 Asian Games.

It will be the third time the Asiad, a qua­dren­nial con­ti­nen­tal event, will be staged in China, where it was hosted in 1990 in Bei­jing and 2010 in Guangzhou.

De­spite public con­cerns over fi­nan­cial bur­dens and in­con­ve­nience caused by the games, the city gov­ern­ment en­vi­sions that host­ing the event will ben­e­fit the de­vel­op­ment of the sports in­dus­try while in­spir­ing mass sports par­tic­i­pa­tion in the re­gion, cit­ing a cau­tiously con­ceived games plan.

“De­liv­er­ing the Asiad will help up­date ur­ban in­fra­struc­ture and im­prove the in­ter­na­tional im­age of Hangzhou. Sports fa­cil­i­ties will be im­proved while more in­vest­ments in sports-re­lated busi­nesses will ben­e­fit the public,” said Zheng Ji­wei, deputy gover­nor of Zhe­jiang, who briefed­mem­ber­sof theO­lympic Coun­cil of Asia at its 34th Congress in Turk­menistan, where it re­leased its de­ci­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­vin­cial de­vel­op­ment plan, Zhe­jiang aims for to­tal sports in­dus­try rev­enue of 500 bil­lion yuan ($78.5 bil­lion) by 2025 as part of the coun­try’s strate­gic plan to boost con­sump­tion in sports and leisure busi­nesses.

Host­ing the Asiad will en­cour­age more peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in sports ac­tiv­i­ties to help ac­cel­er­ate achiev­ing the goal, said Zheng.

Ac­cord­ing to

the Hangzhou Sports Bureau, most of the around 50 com­pe­ti­tion venues needed for the games are ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Dragon Sports Cen­ter and col­lege are­nas in three univer­sity clus­ters in city sub­urbs. Ap­prox­i­mately 20 train­ing venues will be set in lo­cal sports academies and reg­u­lar schools to avoid ex­tra ex­pen­di­ture.

The only ma­jor new com­plex, the soon-to-be-com­pleted Olympic Sports and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, was in the city’s ur­ban de­vel­op­ment plan long be­fore it ap­plied for the Asiad in Au­gust, said Xu Tong­hao, deputy di­rec­tor of the bureau.

“The wor­ries of too much gov­ern­ment spend­ing as well as in­con­ve­nience caused by big scale con­struc­tion are un­nec­es­sary, since the city has care­fully an­a­lyzed risks and ben­e­fits be­fore mak­ing a cau­tious de­ci­sion,” he said on Wed­nes­day.

Con­tact the writ­ers through sunx­i­aochen@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

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