Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Olympic Council To Finalise Calendar Changes




KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Bernama) -- The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) will finalise proposed changes to its competitions calendar which include re-scheduling its flagship event, Asian Games, to a five-year cycle, instead of the current four years at its 28th General Assembly in Singapore on Friday.

The OCA Sports Committee, at its meeting in the island republic on Monday, proposed that the Asian Games be held in 2019 -- a year before the Summer Olympic Games -- instead of the traditional two years before the Olympics.

According to the OCA website, the proposed changes include the merging of the Asian Indoor Games and the Asian Martial Arts Games into one event, held every four years.

This would leave the OCA with five events, as opposed to six in the current schedule.

According to the website, the final approval of the changes could only be given by the General Assembly, which meets on July 3.

With events already pencilled through to the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, the new calendar would take effect from 2016, according to the website.

Sports committee chairman Wei Jizhong said, the new cycle would alleviate the logistical burden on the OCA's 45 national olympic committees and result in only one multi-sports event per year -- except in the year of an Asian Winter Games, when there would be two.

In general, the OCA would try and restrict one sport to one game but in special circumstances such as beach volleyball, the same sport could be played in two different games, he said.

"Beginning 2016, we will use the new cycle, following studies and discussions among committee members, and with the OCA technical department.

"This proposal will go to the Executive Board and in general, we accept, with some comments. We will say the Sports Committee agreed in principle with all these proposals, regarding the distribution of sports and the cycle," he added.

The OCA will hold three events this year, namely the first Asian Youth Games in Singapore, first Asian Martial Arts Games in Thailand and the third Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam.

The proposed new cycle, including International Olympic Committee events, would be as follows:

2011: Asian Winter Games (Astana-Almaty, Kazakhstan).

2012: Olympic Games (London), Asian Beach Games (Haiyang, China).

2013: Asian Youth Games (Incheon, South Korea), Asian Indoor-Martial Arts Games (Doha, Qatar).

2014: Youth Olympic Games, Winter Olympic Games, Asian Games (Incheon, South Korea).

2015: Asian Beach Games (to be decided).

2016: Olympic Games; Asian Indoor-Martial Arts Games (TBD).

2017: Asian Winter Games (TBD), Asian Youth Games (TBD).

2018: Youth Olympic Games, Winter Olympic Games; Asian Beach Games (TBD).

2019: Asian Games (TBD).

2020: Olympic Games, Asian Indoor-Martial Arts Games (TBD).

The two OCA events next year will be the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in November and the second Asian Beach Games in Muscat, Oman, in December.

-- BERNAMA

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