Held every 4 years, the Asian Games is the world’s largest multi-sport event outside of the Olympics. 46 nations have historically competed in the production, whose next edition is to be held by Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018. In February of this year, we reported how Australia was hoping to join the party, with its Olympic Committee President, John Coates, pursuing bringing a full delegation of athletes to the 2022 version set for Hangzhou, China.
At the time, Coates said, “Discussions are underway and I believe there would be great interest in the Asian Games amongst our member sports. Particularly in sports where the Asian countries are strong (such as) gymnastics, badminton and table tennis. I believe participating in the Asian Games would be very good for us.”
However, Inside the Games is reporting that the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah is now against the idea of Oceania getting involved. “We cannot go for the main Games because Asian Games has a maximum of 15,000 participants,” Sheikh Ahmad said.
“That’s almost an Olympic Games – we cannot add more to our main Games in Asia,” he continued. “In Asia we have indoor Games, Winter Games, Beach Games and Main Games. The Indoor and Beach Games will still be a good opportunity for our colleagues from Oceania to participate with us.”
An idea still being bounced around is the possibility of Australia initiating the creation of a multi-sport Games specifically for Oceania, akin to the newer European Games.