The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has rescheduled the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) to March 10 to 20, 2022 due to the ongoing pandemic crisis.
In a statement, OCA confirmed the postponement of the quadrennial event initially scheduled May 21 to 30 in Bangkok and Chonburi Province, Thailand.
“The decision aims at serving the common interest of all related National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and ensuring the safety and health of the athletes and all relevant participants,” the OCA said.
The OCA added concerns over the growing virus cases and the discovery of the new variants in United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil had led to the postponement.
Thirty sports including two demonstration sports were lined up in the event’s program with the country bringing home two gold, 14 silver and 14 bronze medals in the 2017 edition held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Various NOCs including the Philippines have been earlier informed of the postponement although OCA has yet to release a statement until recently.
Richard Lim, the country’s Chief of Mission to the AIMAG, said the postponement could be considered as a blessing in disguise so that athletes can concentrate more on their Tokyo Olympics and Southeast Asian Games campaigns.
The Olympics is set July 23 to Aug. 8 while the 31st SEAG that Vietnam is hosting is scheduled Nov. 21 to Dec. 2.