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  • Doha, Riyadh Asian Games Face-off Opens


    (ATR) One of Asia’s veteran sports leaders will take charge of the evaluation commission for the 2030 Asian Games.

    Wei Jizhong will head the evaluation commission. (ATR)
    Wei Jizhong of China will head the commission which expects to begin its work in October.

    The contest between Doha and Riyadh will be decided in April 2021 when the Olympic Council of Asia holds its next general assembly. The meeting takes place in Sanya, China where the next edition of the Asian Beach Games is scheduled, postponed from later this year due to coronavirus concerns.

    The Qatari capital has hosted the Asiad once before in 2006. Saudi Arabia has yet to have the honor. The Asian Games would be the largest sporting event ever for the Saudi kingdom.

    Wei, 83, has been involved with volleyball throughout his career, including a stint as president of international federation FIVB. He played a key role in Beijing’s bid for the 2008 Olympics.

    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Wikipedia)
    The nine-member commission includes three IOC members: Mikaela Cojuangco Jaworski from the Philippines, Ryu Seung Min from South Korea and Battushig Batbold from Mongolia.

    The commission will visit both cities in the coming months.

    The contest between the two capital cities may come with some political overtones. Saudi Arabia has cut off all relations with Qatar since 2017. The Saudi government accuses Qatar of supporting terrorism, a charge denied by Qatar.

    Doha, Qatar (ATR)
    The next Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China in 2022. Aichi-Nagoya, Japan will host the 2026 edition.

    “We have many sports leaders throughout Asia with a lot of experience from the Asian Games and Olympic Games and I am sure the members of this OCA Evaluation Committee will cover every aspect of planning, preparation, management and operations of the Asian Games,” says OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah in a statement announcing formation of the commission.

    The 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia hosted 11,300 athletes representing 45 National Olympic Committees. The program for those games included 40 sports and 465 separate events.

    Reported by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.
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