The Asian Games scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China, in September have been postponed indefinitely, organizers said Friday.
No reason was given for the delay, but China is racing to extinguish its largest outbreak of COVID-19 since the early days of the pandemic.
“The Olympic Council of Asia has announced that the 19th Asian Games, originally scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to 25, 2022, will be postponed,” said a statement on the official Games website, first posted on Chinese state media.
The new dates for the sporting contest “will be announced at a later date”, the statement added.
The host city of Hangzhou lies near the country’s biggest city, Shanghai, which has endured a weeks-long lockdown as part of the ruling Communist Party’s zero-tolerance approach to the virus.
The organizers said last month that Hangzhou, a city of 12 million in eastern China, had finished constructing some 56 competition venues for the Asian Games and Asian Para Games.
The Asian Youth Games, due to be held in the Chinese city of Shantou from December 20 to 28 this year, have also been cancelled, the OCA has announced.