Hangzhou in east China’s Zhejiang Province was yesterday awarded the 2022 Asian Games, organizers and state media said, in another win for China’s global sporting ambitions.
Hangzhou — best known for the West Lake, a placid and much-painted tourist attraction — was the only candidate city, a report by China’s Xinhua news agency said.
Its sole candidacy made it a shoo-in for selection by the Olympic Council of Asia at its congress in the Turkmenistan capital Ashgabat.
An OCA spokesman confirmed the decision, saying the body, the Chinese Olympic Committee and Hangzhou had already signed the hosting contract at the meeting.
“The Asian Games ... will play a very big role in the development of the city,” Hangzhou mayor Zhong Hongming said.
The award comes shortly after Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, having hosted the Summer Games in 2008, and means China will host two major multi-sport events in the same year.
China staged official celebrations in July after winning the Winter Olympics bid, beating Kazakhstan’s Almaty.
The 2008 Games marked a major step forward for China on the international stage.
Hangzhou — the home base of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba — will be the third Chinese city to host the Asian regional games, following Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.
South Korea’s Incheon held the last Asian Games in 2014, while Indonesia will play host in 2018.
That event will have two host cities, the OCA said in a statement: Jakarta, the teeming capital on the island of Java, and Palembang, the provincial capital of South Sumatra, a 45-minute flight away.
But the organization withdrew the 2017 Asian Youth Games from Sri Lanka, it said, “due to problems with the autonomy of the Sri Lanka NOC (National Olympic Committee) and the government”.