Sun.Star Cebu

POC president: Hangzhou 19th Asian Games postponed


THE Hangzhou 19th Asian Games in September has been postponed because of Covid19’s Omicron variant pandemic situation in China, said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino on May 6.

Tolentino said the decision to postpone the Games to a still-to-be-determined-date came to be after a meeting among officials of the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (Hagoc) as well as members of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) executive board on Friday in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

“Hagoc has been very well prepared to deliver the Games on time despite global challenges,” the OCA said in a statement. “However, the above decision was taken by all the stakeholde­rs after carefully considerin­g the pandemic situation and the size of the Games.”

The Games were set for Sept. 10 to 25 and the OCA, COC and Hagoc said the new dates would be announced in the near future.

Tolentino said despite the postponeme­nt, the name and emblem of the 19th Asian Games will remain unchanged and that the “OCA believes that the Games will achieve complete success through the joint efforts of all parties.”

An offshoot of the Asian Games’ postponeme­nt was the cancellati­on of the Third Asian Youth Games which were scheduled from Dec. 20 to 28 also this year in Shantou, China.

“After discussion with the COC and the Organizing Committee, the OCA EB decided that as the Asian Youth Games had already been postponed once, the Asian Youth Games Shantou 2021 will be cancelled,” the OCA said.

The next Asian Youth Games, the OCA added, will be held in 2025 in Tashkent.

“The OCA thanks Shantou Organizing Committee for its great work during the preparatio­n phase,” the OCA said. “We strongly believe that this effort will be beneficial to many different aspects of the developmen­t of the city, especially in the field of sport as well as for the promotion of Olympic spirit in Asia.” /

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