The Asian Games, World University Games and two Diamond League track and field meets, all in China, will not occur as scheduled this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Asian Games, which were scheduled for Sept. 10-25 in Hangzhou, are a quadrennial multi-sport competition for Asian nations including about 10,000 athletes, a similar number to the Summer Olympics.
For many athletes, the Asian Games carry greater importance than their individual sport’s world championships.
Asian Games organizers were “very well prepared to deliver the Games on time despite global challenges,” according to an Olympic Council of Asia press release. The postponement came after “carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games.”
New dates will be announced in the near future, organizers said.
The World University Games, a biennial multi-sport competition for student-athletes due to be held in Chengdu from June 26-July 7, were postponed for a second consecutive year. The event will be held on to-be-announced dates in 2023.
“The decision to reschedule Chengdu 2021 is not one that was made easily, but it is the right decision for university athletes,” International University Sports Federation president Leonz Eder said in a release. “Their welfare is always our number one priority. Continued uncertainty over conditions has made rescheduling the sensible choice — a number of National University Sports Federations had already changed their plans.”
Before this second postponement, some nations, including Great Britain and Canada, announced they would not send teams, citing multiple reasons including health and safety during the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
The World University Games feature more than 5,000 athletes across many Olympic sports and some non-Olympic events, such as wushu for the Chengdu edition.
The Diamond League, track and field’s top-level international circuit, announced its two China meets on July 30 and Aug. 6 in Shanghai and Shenzhen will not take place “due to travel restrictions and strict quarantine requirements currently in place for entry into China.”
A substitute meet will be held in Chorzow, Poland on Aug. 6.
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