The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, originally scheduled to take place in September of this year, are to be postponed, according to a statement on the Games’ official website.
The statement on the Games' official website. Screengrab via 19th Asian Games Hangzhou official website
The decision was taken by the Asian Games Committee, along with other relevant bodies, on the morning of May 6, 2022.
A new date will be announced by the Asian Olympic Executive Committee, the China Olympic Committee and the Hangzhou 2022 Organization Council.
There has also been disappointment for other sporting events in China; CCTV reports that the Third Asian Youth Games, originally scheduled to take place in Shantou, Guangdong province in December of this year, has been cancelled having already been postponed once.
Meanwhile, South China Morning Post reports that the Chengdu FISU World University Games will be postponed for a second time. The event was originally delayed until June of this year.
No specific reason has been given for the postponement of the 19th Asian Games. However, the statement on the Games’ website mentioned that “all parties involved in the Games had actively worked to overcome the impact of the epidemic” – a strong indication that the postponement has to do with China’s latest outbreak of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
The Games were scheduled to take place in the Zhejiang provincial capital from September 10-25, 2022, with athletes from Asian nations competing in 40 sports.
It is China’s second time to host the Games, having hosted the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou in 2010.
China continues to pursue its ‘dynamic zero-COVID,’ which seeks to eliminate the spread of the virus rather than ‘live with it.’
[Cover image via Weibo/@法语薇言]