The 19th Asian Games will start in September next year

Thinley Namgay

The 19th Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8 next year.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced new dates for the competition on July 19 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The games were due to start from September 10 to 25 this year.

In his official letter to the President and member nations, OCA Director General Husain Al Musallam said that due to the pandemic, the OCA Board of Directors during its meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on May 6 agreed to postpone the 19th Asian Games.

He said the board had instituted a working group which had discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee, the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee and other relevant stakeholders to finalize the new dates so that there is no conflict with other major international sporting events.

The working group held its last meeting on July 17 and forwarded its recommendation to the OCA Board of Directors for approval.

Bhutan will compete in the aquatics, archery, athletics, boxing, judo, karate, shooting and taekwondo categories.

At the 2018 games in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia, 24 Bhutanese athletes, including nine women, competed in archery, golf, boxing and taekwondo.

Archer Karma said the athletes were training as usual and postponing the competition would give them more time to prepare.

Around 11,000 athletes from 45 Asian countries will compete in 61 disciplines (40 sports) at the quadrennial continental multi-sport event like the Olympics.

Hangzhou will become the third Chinese city to host the continental competition after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.

Construction of all venues and facilities for the games was completed in April.

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