Sports bodies sign up to host legacy events

时间:2023-10-05 20:22:33来源: China Daily

With the Asian Games still underway, Hangzhou organizers have set their sights on hosting more international events to maximize the legacy of the continental sporting jamboree while enhancing the city's overall global impact.

Halfway through its two-week program, the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou are widely considered to be a resounding success, with participants from across the world hailing the world-class facilities, modern city infrastructure and professional organization in the Zhejiang provincial capital as excellent and comparable to Olympic standards.

Encouraged by the worldwide acclaim, the Chinese host has signed up agreements with multiple international governing bodies to keep bringing more events to its Asiad-tested venues, and, perhaps, bid for another higher-profile multi-sports international sporting gala, according to the Hangzhou municipal government.

"We've set our goals beyond just hosting a successful edition of the Asian Games. The legacy of the Asiad will play an instrumental role in helping Hangzhou develop into a world-renowned metropolis and international sports hub," Yao Gaoyuan, mayor of Hangzhou, said at a press briefing at the Main Media Centre on Wednesday.

"We need to continue making the best use of the venues, organizational experiences and all kinds of resources we prepared for the Asiad in order to maximize the event's rich legacy."

The International Canoe Federation (ICF), International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Badminton World Federation (BWF) jointly announced at the briefing that they had each signed a memorandum of understanding with the city government to bring their respective events and promotional programs to Hangzhou, aimed at expanding their sports' presence and popularity in one of China's most economically developed regions.

"I think the Asian Games in Hangzhou are absolutely comparable to the Olympics. Congratulate the organizers for doing a really great job," said ICF president Thomas Konietzko. "Hangzhou and our sport belong together because this beautiful city, with all these rivers and lakes, offers so many opportunities for canoeing."

As the highlight of the cooperation, the ICF will launch a new tournament, the 2024 Super Cup, in October next year at the Fuyang Water Sports Centre, where four canoeing disciplines — canoe sprint and slalom, which are Olympic events, and canoe polo and marathon, which are not — will be contested at the same venue for the first time.

Badminton, which already enjoys a massive presence in China, will also see more action at the Asiad venue in just over two months when the BWF World Tour Finals serve the opening fixture of its four-year stay in Hangzhou, beginning in December.

"We appreciate that the leadership in Hangzhou has been thinking ahead, not only about the two weeks of competition currently underway at the Asian Games, but also what is going to happen in the months and years to come," said BWF secretary-general Thomas Lund.

Tayyab Ikram, president of FIH, praised Hangzhou's effort in promoting the sport at the grassroots as a game-changer for hockey's future.

"We would like to see a real strong footprint of hockey in Hangzhou. And I think that's the way to move forward in order to commit to a strong legacy after the Asian Games," Ikram said of the cooperation.