The deadly Covid-19 virus has left its mark on sporting events. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were delayed for a year. The axe has now fallen on the Asian Games 2022, which were scheduled to be held from September 10–25 in the Chinese city of Hangzhou but have been postponed until 2023 amidst the rise of Covid-19 cases.
The decision about the postponement of the game was first confirmed by the Chinese state media. Due to the surge of daily cases in Shanghai, the city has been in a lockdown phase for more than a month. Shanghai, the financial centre of China, is not far away from Hangzhou, where the game was to be held.
Earlier this year, Beijing hosted the Winter Olympics under the strict Covid protocols. The Games were organised behind closed doors in February 2022.
India’s Sports Minister, Anurag Thakur, had said last month that a call on India’s participation in the Asian Games would be taken depending on China’s assessment of the situation and its readiness to host the continental event amid the rising cases.
The Asian Games 2022 are the latest sporting event to fail to get underway at the scheduled time due to the coronavirus. The Tokyo Olympics were postponed for a year; were scheduled to be held in 2020 but took place in 2021.
The last Asian Games were held in 2018 in Jakarta and Palembang. India occupied the 8th spot in the medal tally, bagging a total of 69 medals, including 15 yellow metals. Top India athletes are now gearing up for the Commonwealth Games, which are set to be held in Birmingham (England) from July 28 to August 8.