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Sanya’s Asian Beach Games rescheduled to 2021

Ie Anh Tuan of Vietnam plays against Lee Minsoo of South Korea during their Beach Sepaktakraw competition at the 5th Asian Beach Games (by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has announced that the sixth edition of its Asian Beach Games will now be held from April 2-10, 2021 following an initial postponement caused by China’s stance on hosting international sports events during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chinese government last month said the country would not be hosting most of its planned international sports events this year. The move was announced in the plan for the resumption of sport in the country published by the General Administration of Sport (GAS). It said a small number of events would be allowed to go ahead, including Beijing 2022 winter Olympics test events “and other important events”.

The GAS advice said that the hosting plans for the 2020 Asian Beach Games, scheduled for Sanya in Hainan province from November 28 to December 6, should be “carefully adjusted”. The OCA today (Monday) announced the new dates, stating that the name of the Games, the Sixth Asian Beach Games Sanya 2020, and the logo shall remain unchanged.

The OCA added: “The decision taken jointly in collaboration with Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Sanya Asian Beach Games Organising Committee (SABGOC) will ensure the safety of the athletes and officials as well as the spectators in these unprecedented times of Covid-19 pandemic.

“The OCA is extremely positive that the Games with the joint efforts of all the involved parties will be a great success.”

In September 2016, the OCA opted to switch the multi-sport event to a four-year cycle and introduced a rule to cap the number of athletes from the same country that can compete in individual events.

The motion, approved by delegates at the OCA General Assembly, meant that the next edition of the event, which had been due to take place in Goa, India, in 2018, moved to 2020. The decision was taken during the 2016 Games in Danang, Vietnam.

The first edition of the Asian Beach Games took place in Bali, Indonesia, in 2008, and was followed by events in Muscat, Oman, in 2010, Haiyang in China in 2012, and Phuket, Thailand in 2014.