China announces postponement of 2022 Asian Games

Beijing, May 6, (dpa/GNA) - The 2022 Asian Games in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzou have been postponed, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) confirmed following reports in state media citing organizers on Friday.

According to the OCA, local organizers had "been very well prepared to deliver the Games on time despite global challenges.

"However, the above decision was taken by all the stakeholders after carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games."

The name and the emblem of the 19th Asian Games will remain unchanged, and the OCA believes that the Games will achieve complete success through the joint efforts of all parties."

China has maintained a zero Covid-19 policy since the start of the pandemic in 2020 but the arrival of the omicron variant has created the largest wave of coronavirus infections to date.

A new timeframe for the Games, due to be held September 10-25, is still to be decided.

There are currently strict lockdowns in place in Shanghai and other major cities while there are restrictions and mass tests underway in the capital Beijing.

Several other sporting events in China have been postponed or cancelled during the pandemic.