Australia, New Zealand not sending athletes to Asian Games

Australia won’t be taking up a proposal to send competitors to the Asian Games interestingly this year as none of the welcomed sports alliances communicated an interest in going to Hangzhou, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said today.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) had welcomed a share of around 300 competitors and 150 care staff from Oceania countries, including Australia and New Zealand, to contend at the Sept 10-25 Games in the eastern Chinese city.

“We have no competitors going,” an AOC representative told Reuters.

A New Zealand Olympic Committee representative additionally affirmed the nation wouldn’t take part at the Games.

The AOC’s active president John Coates, an IOC VP and one of the world’s most persuasive games heads, had long pushed for Australia’s competitors to be remembered for the Asian Games to open them to stiffer contest.

The quadrennial Asian Games are second in size just to the Summer Olympics.

The Hangzhou games have been under a haze since an episode of Covid-19 in Shanghai, some 175km northwest of the city.

A media report last week cited the OCA’s chief general as saying there was plausible the Games would be deferred as a result of the Covid circumstance.

Most global games in China have been delayed or dropped since the beginning of the pandemic, with the prominent exemption of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which went on under severe controls in February.

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