Asian Games 2022 postponed, Indian esports contingent to continue preparations for podium finishes

New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): Following detailed discussions with the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC), the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Executive Board on Friday decided to postpone the 19th Asian Games, which were scheduled to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 10-25, 2022.

The new dates of the 19th Asian Games will be agreed between the OCA, the COC and the HAGOC and announced in the near future. However, the above decision was taken by all the stakeholders after carefully considering the pandemic situation and the size of the Games.

Lokesh Suji, Director, Esports Federation of India and Vice President of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF) said in a statement that the well-being of the athletes is the top priority and this news was expected as there was news floating about the Covid resurgence in China.

“While the wait gets longer but the excitement remains the same. We should look at this as a blessing in disguise, giving our Indian esports contingent more time to sharpen their skills to further our chances of podium finishes,” he said.

Esports is going to make its debut at the Asian Games 2022. In 2018 it was there as a demonstration title.

FIFA22 athlete Charanjot Singh said that they will continue with their practice.

“All of us athletes are gutted by the news of the postponement of the Asian Games, but we’ll continue to give our everything in practice leading up to the tournament. The postponement gives us more time to practice and get better for the Asian games,” he said.

“I can’t say I’m not disappointed by hearing the news, but it was kind of expected given the COVID-19 situation. I’m gonna take it positively because I’m going to get more time to practice. Ever since I started preparing myself for the qualifiers/tournament I’ve made progress better than I did in the last 4 years. So I’m gonna keep practising and hopefully, I’ll be able to finally compete in Asian Games. Whenever it’s going to happen, I’ll be prepared,” said Street Fighter V athlete Mayank Prajapati.

The Olympic Council of Asia had earlier announced the titles for the debut of esports as an official medal sport at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September 2022. There will be eight medal events, plus two demonstration games, reflecting the popularity and growth of electronic sports in Asia. (ANI)

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