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Hangzhou to host more international sports events after successful Asian Games

Hangzhou, the host city of the 19th Asian Games, has received worldwide praise for its world-class facilities, modern city infrastructure and professional organization of the continental sporting jamboree. The Chinese city has also signed agreements with multiple international governing bodies to bring more sports events to its venues, and possibly bid for another higher-profile multi-sports gala in the future.

Hangzhou aims to become a global sports hub

The mayor of Hangzhou, Yao Gaoyuan, said at a press briefing on Wednesday that the city has set its goals beyond just hosting a successful edition of the Asian Games. He said that the legacy of the Asiad will play an instrumental role in helping Hangzhou develop into a world-renowned metropolis and international sports hub.

“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,” Yao said.

Hangzhou has invested heavily in building and renovating 58 venues for the Asian Games, including 30 competition venues and 28 training venues. The city has also upgraded its transportation, communication and environmental systems to meet the high standards of hosting a mega-event.

Hangzhou to host more international sports events after successful Asian Games

Hangzhou signs MOUs with international sports federations

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.

The FIH has also agreed to bring its flagship event, the Hockey World Cup, to Hangzhou in 2026. The city will host both men’s and women’s tournaments at the newly built Hockey Stadium, which has a capacity of 15,000 spectators.

“The Hockey World Cup is our biggest event and we are delighted to bring it to Hangzhou, a city that has shown great passion and professionalism in hosting the Asian Games,” said FIH president Narinder Batra.

Hangzhou eyes bigger ambitions after Asian Games

The Asian Games, which will conclude on Sunday, have attracted more than 10,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions to compete in 40 sports. The event has also drawn millions of viewers from around the world who have witnessed the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the thrilling competitions.

Hangzhou has not only showcased its readiness to host such a large-scale event, but also its ambition to bid for more prestigious ones in the future. The city has expressed its interest in hosting the Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2030 and possibly the Summer Olympic Games in 2036.

“We have learned a lot from hosting the Asian Games and we have gained more confidence in our ability to organize international sports events. We will continue to explore more opportunities to bid for more events that can enhance our city’s image and influence,” Yao said.

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