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China’s Sanya to host 2020 Asian Beach Games

Updated: Aug 19,2018 7:50 PM     Xinhua

JAKARTA — A general assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has approved China’s coastal heaven of Sanya to host the 6th Asian Beach Games in 2020 on Aug 19.

The Sanya Games are expected to be held from late November to early December with 17 sports, such as beach football, beach athletics, martial art, dragon boat racing and triathlon, according to the assembly.

Sanya, a famous tourist destination in China’s southernmost island province of Hainan, is the only applicant to host the continental event.

“We are confident to deliver a successful and incredible event, which will later prove to be a precious legacy for our city and for the region, definitely beyond sports,” said Xu Zhenling, vice- mayor of Sanya, when giving a presentation at the 37th OCA General Assembly.

Nicknamed “China’s Florida” due to its tropical climate, Sanya also serves as the training base of the Chinese national beach volleyball team.

Citing Sanya’s privileges of ideal beaches for competition, infrastructures in place, rich experiences of hosting international sport events, efficient transportation and high-quality accommodation, Xu also pledged to have staff and volunteers properly trained, especially on their foreign language skills to make sure athletes and visitors are free from language barriers.

“We would like to show the world a green and energetic city with great hospitality and sports spirit and we are expected to see all the athletes achieve their personal best in Sanya,” she said.

The Asian Beach Games was inaugurated in Bali in Indonesia in 2008, and was followed by competitions in Muscat in Oman in 2010, Haiyang in China in 2012, Phuket in Thailand in 2014 and Danang in Vietnam in 2016.

The event then switched from a two to a four-year cycle to avoid the “large number of multisport games in the calendar” following an OCA decision in 2016.

The assembly has also called for a report by the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (HAGOC) on its preparation for the 19th edition of Asiad in 2022, in which the host briefed their progress, highlighted by the design of “Tides Surging” chosen as emblem of the Games and 34 sports so far confirmed for the Games to be held in the capital of East China’s Zhejiang province.

Xu Jianfeng, deputy director of the HAGOC international relations department, the speech maker, also noted progress on team building, and infrastructure construction.

“Hangzhou will speed up the construction of urban infrastructure and strive for ecological excellence,” he said. “With three metro lines already operational, the other seven metro lines and two intercity railways will be completed by 2022.”

Pan Zhiwei, deputy director general of Beijing Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, was also invited to give a presentation on preparation for the Games in February, 2022.

The construction of new venues and highways and high-speed railways between three competition clusters Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou goes on well, while on marketing, eight Chinese companies have signed up for official partner for the Games, said Pan.