After getting postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Games are returning to action for the first time since 2018 later this month. Earmarked as the largest multi-sporting event in Asia and the second-largest across the globe after the Olympics, the quadrennial event will see a host of star athletes participating in a myriad of sporting disciplines.
New Delhi, India played the host for the inaugural Asian Games in 1951, and 2023 marks the 19th edition of the event. To date, a total of nine nations have hosted the event, while as many as 46 nations have taken part in the games. Thousands of athletes from 45 nations will partake in the Asian Games 2023 in 481 events across 40 sporting disciplines.
In addition to being the continent’s grandest sporting conglomeration, the Asian Games 2023 will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2024 Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in Paris. A total of 74 quotas from nine sporting disciplines are up for grabs at the Asian Games. The breakdown of these spots, sport-wise, is as follows: six in archery, ten in artistic swimming, thirty-four in boxing, two in breaking, two in hockey, ten in modern pentathlon, six in sailing, two in tennis and two in water polo.
With some riveting contests and fierce rivalries on the cards, the multi-sporting event promises to be a blockbuster event this year. As such, let us take a look at the schedule and the venue for the Asian Games 2023 along with the dates of the important events, the star players participating in it and where to watch the marquee continental event.
A look at the Asian Games 2023 schedule and venue
Most of the events at the Asian Games 2023 will kick-start after the opening ceremony, scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 23 in Hangzhou, China. However, a few team sporting events, such as football, cricket, beach volleyball and volleyball, will get an early start at the Asian Games 2023 on Tuesday, September 19.
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The Football fixtures will take place from September 19 to October 7, while beach volleyball will be played from September 19 to September 28. On the other hand, the women’s cricket event will be contested from September 19 to September 25, while the men’s version of the sport will take place from September 27 to October 7. The men’s volleyball event will commence on September 19 and continue till September 26, while the women’s event for the same will be played from September 30 to October 7.
The badminton fixtures will take place from September 28 to October 7. Other important events will be played as follows – basketball from September 26 to October 6, boxing from September 24 to October 5, golf from September 28 to October 1, hockey from September 24 to October 7, table tennis from September 22 to October 2, tennis from September 24 to September 30, and wrestling from October 4 to October 7. It is important to note that all athletics events, including track and field events, will start on September 29 and continue till October 5.
The Asian Games 2023 will come to an end with the closing ceremony on October 8.
Star athletes to look out for at the Asian Games 2023
Athletics fans will be eager to see India’s Neeraj Chopra in action as a billion people hope to see him clinch the gold medal, although he will face a steep challenge from Kitaguchi Haruka of Japan and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem. High jumper Woo Sang-hyeok of South Korea and pole vaulter EJ Obiena of Philippines will also be in the limelight.
In badminton, newly crowned world champions Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand (men’s singles champion) and An Se-young of South Korea (women’s singles champion) are deemed as favourites to clinch the top honours. However, India’s Prannoy HS, who won the bronze medal at the BWF World Championships 2023, will be giving Vitidsarn a run for his money. Similarly, Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi will look to deny Se-young the gold medal.
Where can you watch the Asian Games 2023?
In Singapore, fans can live stream all the events of the Asian Games 2023 on MediaCorp Channel 5 and mewatch.sg, the official broadcasters of the event for this region.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– What are the dates for the Asian Games 2023?
The Asian Games 2023 will commence on September 23 and conclude on October 8.
– Which country is hosting the Asian Games 2023?
China will be hosting the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou.
– How many countries are participating in the Asian Games 2023?
A total of 45 countries will be participating in the Asian Games 2023.
(Main and Featured Images Credits: Courtesy Instagram/@19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022)