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Hundreds of Oceania athletes to debut at Asian Games

/ 04:56 PM November 23, 2021
Image of "The Big Lotus", Hangzhou's Olympic Sports Center on the Qiantang river in Hangzhou, China. The building will be the site for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Asian Games in 2022.

Image of “The Big Lotus”, Hangzhou’s Olympic Sports Center on the Qiantang river in Hangzhou, China. The building will be the site for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Asian Games in 2022. (Photo by Dan Sandoval / Publicity Department of Hangzhou)

Athletes from Oceania — including sporting powerhouse Australia — will compete in athletics and four other sports when the region takes part at the Asian Games for the first time, the Olympic Council of Asia said.

About 300 athletes from Oceania will be able to compete in triathlon, wushu, roller-skating, weightlifting and athletics at the multisport extravaganza next September in Hangzhou, China.

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“Oceania will be taking part for the first time at the Asian Games,” director general Husain Al-Musallam told an OCA meeting in Dubai, according to a press release.

“They will receive honorary medals (if they are in the top three) and it will not be counted in the final medals tally.”

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Oceania — Australia, New Zealand and a swathe of Pacific islands — have not taken part in the regional Olympics before, but sporting ties with Asia have been growing.

The 2022 Asian Games will see 10,000 athletes compete in 40 sports across 55 venues, with eSports making its debut as an official medal event.

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TAGS: 2022 Asian Games, China, Oceania
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