(ATR) The head of the Olympic Council of Asia says the body is in a "comfortable situation" having allocated a number of future events at its annual General Assembly.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah commented on the position of the regional body after both the 2026 Asian Games and 2020 Asian Beach Games signed host city contracts at the assembly. In Jakarta all 45 National Olympic Committees of the OCA were present, including Kuwait which had its IOC suspension provisionally lifted ahead of the Asian Games.
Nagoya and Aichi Prefecture in Japan will share hosting duties for the 2026 Asian Games. The 2020 Asian Beach Games will be held in Sanya on Hainan Island in China. Both cities were the only bidders for each Games.
Ahmad said that along with the next two Asian Games the OCA has "a procedure [to award] the winter games, the indoor games, and the youth games" in the future. The Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games were awarded in 2015 and the Nagoya 2026 Asian Games were awarded a year later. The allocations came after the OCA scrambled to find a host for the 2018 Asian Games following the sudden withdrawal of Vietnam as host.
The decisions were reminiscent of when the OCA awarded the 1990 and 1994 Asian Games in the same vote.
"This kind of decision was adopted by the IOC when they had Paris and Los Angeles in the same vote," Sheikh Ahmad said. "We are proud to share this with other international organization and we are happy President Bach gives more flexibility with the decision of the EB which will give more stability to the Olympic Movement in the world."
The two decisions were the highlight of a streamlined General Assembly at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang. NOCs in Asia also heard numerous presentations from the next two Olympics, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 and other stakeholders in the Olympic Movement in the continent.
The sport program for Hangzhou 2022 was introduced, including the 33 sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. A preliminary list of over 50 sports was presented to the OCA, from which the final amount will be chosen after the Paris 2024 sport program decision is taken.
The dates were set for the Nagoya-Aichi 2026 Asian Games. The OCA Executive Board chose to stage the Games from Sept. 19-Oct. 4 to avoid summer heat in the region.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla opened the assembly with a short address thanking the body for its help in staging the 2018 Asian Games and hoping for a more peaceful future.
"I assure you the people of Indonesia are steadfast in our support for the fostering of Olympic spirit throughout our island nation," Kalla said. "I sincerely hope the General Assembly of OCA will take all the success and lessons learned from the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia to be an inspiration of encouragement for the future games both at regional and international level, especially in the coming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo."
The OCA also approved Bangkok, Thailand as its next General Assembly site for March 2019.
Written by Aaron Bauer in Jakarta
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