Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games postponed as China battles COVID resurgence

The organisers of the event gave no specific reason for the delay, but said the new dates will be announced later

The Games were scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25, 2022.

With China witnessing a fresh surge in COVID-19 games, the 19th Asian Games, slated to be held in China’s Hangzhou in September this year, have been indefinitely postponed, the organisers of the event said in a statement on Friday.

“The Olympic Council of Asia has announced that he 19th Asian Games, originally scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25, 2022, will be postponed,” a statement posted on the official website of the Games read.

While the media release gave no specific reason for the delay, it said an appropriate date for the games will be announced later.

The postponement of the games come at a time when China, where COVID-19 was first reported in 2019, is battling a severe resurgence of infections. The city of Shanghai, which was under lockdown for over a month, is just 200 km away from the host city of Hangzhou.

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Last month, the organisers of the event had said that they had already completed construction of 56 competition venues for the Asian Games and Asian Para Games, and exuded confidence that the events will be held under a strict virus control plan, strategies of which would be borrowed from the Beijing Winter Olympics (held in February this year).

China’s decision to halt the games is seen a part of its zero-tolerance policy towards COVID-19 under which the government has been imposing strict lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing programmes.

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