Guwahati: The Asian Games which were due to take place in Hangzhou in September have been postponed indefinitely as China is battling a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
“The Olympic Council of Asia has announced that the 19th Asian Games, originally scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25, 2022, will be postponed,” a statement read on the official Games website.
The statement further added that the new dates for the sporting contest “will be announced at a late date”.
The host city of Hangzhou lies near the country’s biggest city, Shanghai, which has endured a weeks-long lockdown as part of the ruling Communist Party’s zero-tolerance approach to the virus.
Shanghai, the financial hub of the country, has been under a lockdown for a month now while more curbs have been introduced in Beijing which is one edge now.
The decision comes even as China was able to host the Winter Olympics in Beijing earlier this year. There were strict Covid-19 protocols in place and the Games were held behind closed doors in February 2022.
The Asian Games is the latest in the list of major sporting events which have seen delays or cancellations due to the Covid-19 crisis. The biggest global sporting event, the Olympic Games, was postponed until 2021 due to the pandemic 2020. The Summer Games went ahead even as a section of the public in Japan was against the country hosting the global sporting spectacle.
The 2018 edition of the Asian Games was held in Jakarta and Palembang. India had finished 8th in the medal table with a total of 69 medals, including 15 gold medals.