New dates have been announced for the Asian Games 2022, set to be hosted by Zhejiang provincial capital Hangzhou, with them now set to take place between September 23 and October 8, 2023.
The event will retain the official name, The 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, along with all official branding.
The announcement was made via the Games’ official website in a decision taken by the Olympic Council of Asia and the Chinese Olympic Committee, as well as other relevant bodies.
The announcement made via the Games' official website. Screengrab via hangzhou2022.cn
The statement said they hoped to put on a “sporting cultural event featuring Chinese characteristics, Zhejiang style and splendid Hangzhou charm.”
The Games were originally scheduled to take place from September 10-25, 2022. However, an announcement on May 6 indicated that the event would be postponed.
Although not explicitly stated, the Games’ organizers hinted very heavily that the postponement was because of China’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy.
Another major sporting event which has also seen postponement is the Chengdu FISU World University Games. The Games, originally scheduled for 2021, are set to take place in summer 2023. Exact dates are yet to be announced.
Other events have not been so fortunate. The Third Asian Youth Games, originally set to take place in Shantou, Guangdong province in December of this year, have already been cancelled.
Meanwhile, it was announced on May 14 that a key event on the Asian soccer calendar, the AFC Asian Cup 2023, would no longer be held in China. A new host country has yet to be found.
READ MORE: China Will NOT Host AFC Asian Cup 2023
Sporting fans in China can at least take some comfort in the confirmation of new dates for the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
The Games will see athletes from Asian countries compete in 40 sports. It is the third time for China to host event, with the Games having taken place in Beijing in 1990 and in Guangzhou in 2010.
No announcements have yet been made regarding anti-epidemic procedures at the Hangzhou Asian Games, e.g. whether or not athletes, coaches, journalists, etc., will be required to stay in a closed-loop environment, as was the case during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
[Cover image via Weibo/@法语薇言]