The 19th Asian Games, originally scheduled for 2022 but postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will finally take place in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8, 2023.
This multi-sports event will see athletes from various Asian countries competing in 481 events. Moreover, the Asian Games in Hangzhou will also serve as an Olympic qualification opportunity in nine sports, offering Paris 2024 Olympic qualification quotas to the top performers. In this article, we will provide a preview of the games and highlight the top names and events to watch out for.
Asian Games – Opening Ceremony at 23rd of September
The Asian Games in Hangzhou will commence with the Opening Ceremony on September 23, followed by 15 days of intense competitions in a wide range of sports.
Several events, including archery, artistic swimming, boxing, breaking, hockey, modern pentathlon, sailing, tennis, and water polo, will serve as Olympic qualifiers, presenting athletes with a chance to secure quota spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Despite the games taking place towards the end of many summer sports seasons, there will be notable athletes participating.
In athletics, fans can look forward to watching stars like Neeraj Chopra (India), Kitaguchi Haruka (Japan), Barshim Mutaz (Qatar), Woo Sang-hyeok (Republic of Korea), and EJ Obiena (Philippines) competing for top honors.
The swimming events will feature prominent names such as Pan Zhanle and Hwang Sun-woo, both expected to shine in the men’s 100m and 200m freestyle.
Other swimmers like Ikee Rikako, Watanabe Ippei, Narita Mio, Li Bingjie, Siobhan Haughey, and Zhang Yufei are also anticipated to perform well in their respective events.
China’s dominance in diving is well-known, but Malaysian divers Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Nur Dhabitah Sabri will strive to challenge the hosts and secure a place on the podium.
Absentees at Asiad
While many stars in artistic gymnastics will be absent due to the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, the Chinese team will exhibit their full strength, aiming to continue their success.
Notably, veteran gymnast Oksana Chusovitina from Uzbekistan will be competing after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the World Championships.
Badminton and table tennis, both heavily dominated by Asian players, will showcase the world’s best talents. While men’s Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen won’t be participating, other top-ranked players in singles, such as Kunlavut Vitidsarn (Thailand) and An Seyoung (Republic of Korea), will undoubtedly capture attention.
The question in table tennis remains whether anyone can break China’s stranglehold on the sport, with world number 1 players Fan Zhendong and Sun Yingsha ready to defend their titles.
A total of 74 Paris 2024 Olympic quotas will be up for grabs at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, offering athletes the opportunity to secure a spot for their respective NOCs. However, final participation in the Paris Games will ultimately depend on the respective NOCs selecting the athletes to represent their delegation.
The Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 in 2023 will feature a packed schedule across various sports. From aquatics to wrestling, and from cricket to weightlifting, spectators will be treated to exhilarating competitions throughout the duration of the event.
The excitement culminates with the Closing Ceremony on October 8, marking the end of this grand sporting spectacle.
Where to Watch Asian Games
For those eager to witness the games, several broadcasters will provide television coverage and on-demand streaming options. Viewers can tune in to CCTV in China, TBS in Japan, Sony LIV in India, MediaCorp Channel 5 and mewatch.sg in Singapore, MNCTV, RCTI, iNews TV, and Vision+ in Indonesia, KBS, MBC, SBS, and TV Chosun in the Republic of Korea, as well as RTM and Astro in Malaysia.