Asian Games in Hangzhou postponed due to COVID-19 surge in China

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | May 06,2022 - 08:34 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Hangzhou 19th Asian Games, which is one of the international meets that the Philippines is set to compete in this September, has been postponed due to the surge of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in China.

This setback was announced on Friday, May 6, 2022 by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino. 

There has been no date yet on when the Asian Games will be rescheduled, but one thing is certain, the meet will not push through in September.

Tolentino said that the decision to postpone the Games was arrived at after a meeting among officials of the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC) with 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,” it said.

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

Tolentino said he believed that despite the postponement, the name and emblem of the 19th Asian Games would remain unchanged.

“OCA believes that the Games will achieve complete success through the joint efforts of all parties,” said Tolentino. 

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

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

The Asian Games suffered the same fate as the Tokyo Olympics which was moved a year later from 2020 to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the meantime, Tolentino and the rest of the Philippine delegation were busy preparing for the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Hanoi, Vietnam which would kick off later this month. 

Like the Olympics and the Asian Games, the SEAG has been rescheduled numerous times for the same reason.

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TAGS: Cebu‬, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Chinese Olympic Committee, COC, HAGOC, Hangzhou 19th Asian Games, OCA, Olympic Council of Asia, Omicron variant, Philippine Olympic Committee, POC

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