In a significant development, the Asian Para Games, scheduled to take place from October 9 to 15 in Hangzhou, China, have been postponed due to rising COVID cases in China. The organisers officially announced their decision on Tuesday (May 17).
The decision comes just a couple of days after the Hangzhou Asian Games, which were earlier scheduled to be held from September 10 to 25, were postponed indefinitely on May 6 amid surge in COVID-19 cases in China. "The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games organising committee (HAPGOC) and the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) today announced the postponement of the 2022 Asian Para Games, originally scheduled to take place from 9-15 October 2022," the Asian Paralympic Committee's statement read.
The Asian Paralympic Committee has further informed that a task force comprising the relevant stakeholders will now work on rescheduling the Games in 2023.
"A task force comprising the APC, the Chinese Paralympic Committee, and HAPGOC will now work on rescheduling the Games in 2023. A further announcement on this is expected shortly," the statement further read.
Notably, this postponement will bring change in the Games' emblem, slogan, and year. As per reports, close to 4,000 athletes were expected to participate in the 616 medal events across 22 sports during the marquee tournament. In the released statement, APC President Majid Rashed informed, "the preparations for the Games were going well, and HAPGOC was ready to deliver an outstanding game".
He further stated that the decision to postpone the game was not an easy one, but it was taken to give certainty to the IFs, NPCs, and athletes who were planning to attend the Games. "We will now still with the organising committee on securing a new date that works for the para-sport calendar," he added.