KUWAIT: The postponed Asian Games will be held from September 23 to October 8 next year in Hangzhou, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced on Tuesday.
The 19th edition of the Games were originally slated to be held from September 10 to 25 this year but were suspended on May 6 after a spike in COVID-19 cases in China.
“The Task Force over the last two months held various discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee, Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC) and other stakeholders to find a window for the Games which did not conflict with other major international sporting events,” the OCA said in a statement.
“The recommended dates by the Task Force were duly approved by the OCA EB,” the OCA statement added. While the organisers claimed that Asiad would not clash with any major sporting event, the 2023 World Wrestling Championship, which will be an Olympic Qualifying meet, overlaps the quadrennial event by one day.
The World Championships is slated to be held from September 16-24 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
It means that wrestlers will have to compete in back-to-back major events in a small gap, which is not ideal for a contact sport.
The Asiad rescheduling also means that Indian wrestlers will have to fly directly from Russia to China without enough recovery time. The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is not convinced with the revised schedule.
“The World Championship will be an Olympic qualifying event so how can UWW (world governing body for the sport) agree to this. These events should have a good gap. UWW may have to modify the dates of the World Championships,” WFI Assistant Secretary Vinod Tomar said. Meanwhile the Chinese Olympic Committee said, “We will make concerted efforts with the OCA and the HAGOC in advancing preparatory work to ensure the Games a success.”
“The HAGOC will collaborate with all related parties in preparation
The 19th edition of the Games were originally slated to be held from September 10 to 25 this year but were suspended on May 6 after a spike in COVID-19 cases in China
for the Games in an all-round manner according to the confirmed dates to stage a spectacular sporting and cultural gala with Chinese Grandeur, Zhejiang Style and Hangzhou Flavor,” state-run Xinhua agency quoted a statement issued by the organisers.