Bangkok, Thailand, October 18, 2021 – With 327 days to go ahead of the opening ceremony of the Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, the 1st World Press Briefing for the quadrennial sports extravaganza was held on Monday at Hangzhou International Expo Centre and also conducted in both English and Chinese languages via Zoom Meeting from October 17 and 19, with hundreds of local journalists and overseas press officials from – and press organisations under – the governance of NOCs attending the event online.
The first day of the meeting was reserved for testing the Zoom connection and the digital interpretation service for the media throughout the continent, while the second day on October 18 was held as the key session of the Briefing. The third and final day of the briefing on Tuesday, October 19, will be available for one-on-one meetings and an OCA media conference.
On Monday, the core part of the World Press Briefing began with a welcome speech by Mr Chen Weiqiang, Secretary General of Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games Organising Committee (HAGOC), himself Vice Mayor of Hangzhou. The welcome address was then followed by general presentation on the overall preparations as well as specific items such as the competition program and venue constructions.
During the meeting, updates were presented on preparations for the Games and the services to be provided for the press in Games-time, while the organisers expected to hear and receive in advance from press partners and officials so that they may better understanding their requirements regarding press coverage for the Games and to ensure that the best possible services and facilities will be on offer.
More importantly, aside from the participants from 45 NOCs, it was announced in the meeting on Monday that five Oceanian countries will also be invited to join the Asian Games for the first time.
The briefing continued with the presentation on press operations, including an overview of the Main Media Centre which houses the Main Press Centre and International Broadcast Centre, the Venue Media Centres, photography operations and media information and support services.
Other topics will include health and epidemic prevention, logistics, transportation, accommodation, food and beverage and Media Village operations. A more general presentation was focussed on the accreditation process, the opening and closing ceremonies and the identity and look of the Asian Games.
A total of 40 sports, 61 disciplines and 482 events will be contested in the 19th edition in Hangzhou. Regarding the volleyball competition, the indoor volleyball is due to take place from September 13 to 24, 2022 and beach volleyball from September 11 to 20, 2022.
The organisers have provided four gymnasiums to serve as volleyball competition venues during the Asian Games. They comprise the 3,800-seater Linping Sports Centre Gymnasium, the 3,000-seater Deqing Sports Centre Gymnasium, the 3,666-seater China Textile City Sports Centre Gymnasium and the 7,105-seater Hangzhou Normal University Cangqian Gymnasium.
The Ningbo Banbianshan Beach Volleyball Centre, which holds a seating capacity of 2,425 spectators, will be used as the beach volleyball competition venue.
Meanwhile, the renovation task of the stadium of Hangzhou Normal University’s Cangqian campus, located in East China’s Hangzhou Future Sci-Tech City, has already been completed and ready for use as competition venue of Hangzhou Asian Games volleyball battleground.
The project, receiving 77.02 million yuan ($11.02 million) in investment, mainly involves the renovation of the stadium and sports centre, the construction of temporary rooms for sporting events, the modification of power supply facilities, and a number of supporting outdoor projects.
The stadium consists of an audience area, VIP area, television rebroadcast area, competition management area, athlete area, and volleyball court. It is expected to hold around 7,105 people.
In addition, the sports centre is required to meet volleyball competition standards, with a venue operation area, a competition management area, a security and transportation area, a media area, and two warm-up halls for volleyball competitions being built.
The Media Village (capacity 5,000) will be located at the main Asian Games Village along with the Athletes’ Village (10,400 athletes and officials) and Technical Officials’ Village (3,800), although official hotels in the city and throughout the province will also be available for the media.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as the organisers have guaranteed that the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 will be a safe and comfortable edition, it was informed during the meeting that the situation in China is currently stable with the epidemic well under control.
As of October 7, no new local case has been confirmed in Zhejiang province (host province for the Asian Games Hangzhou 2022) for 477 consecutive days but only one overseas associated asymptomatic case has been newly confirmed at provincial level. Furthermore, as of October 7, overall 98.8% of people over 12 years old at Zhejiang province have been fully immunised.
To make sure that the Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 will be a safe and secure edition, with the health and safety of every participant the top priority, the organisers have implemented sustainability strategies to manage and monitor the health condition of everyone involved.
Aside from providing close local and international cooperation, the organisers, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have learned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and set up emergency facilities for rapid response to the outbreak, while the Hangzhou 2020 COVID-19 Prevention and Control Manual (version 1.0) will be released at the end of 2021.
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