Sydney: Oceania international locations, together with carrying powerhouse Australia, had been invited to compete in Olympic team occasions together with soccer and basketball at the 2022 Asian Games for the first time.
The decision came at a meeting of the Olympic Council of Asia in Bangkok past due Sunday, with Australia welcoming the move as “a wonderful final result”.
“Australia is very grateful for this possibility, and there will be full-size interest from our Oceania neighbours,” stated Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates on Monday.
“This is something I had been pursuing extra than two decades.”
The invitation to the Games in China’s Hangzhou is limited to volleyball, seaside volleyball, basketball and soccer and fencing, ruling out sports activities together with swimming and track cycling which Australia might be anticipated to dominate.
It culminates a protracted Australian-led power for stronger ties with the Olympic Council of Asia.
“This has been pretty an adventure that ultimately will benefit athletes in this area,” delivered Coates.
Oceania — Australia, New Zealand and a swathe of Pacific islands — has now not taken component within the local Olympics before, however, carrying ties with Asia had been growing.
Australia has been a member of the Asian Football Confederation because 2006, and previously took element within the East Asian Games in Osaka in 2001 and the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo.
With 35 sports and 10,000 athletes competing, the Asian Games is 2d only to the Olympics as an international multi-recreation occasion.
Coates stated the range of Australian athletes competing in 2022 could probably be contained.
“There’s a cap of 10,000 athletes for these Games so there’ll need to be some selections made along the manner about which Australian men’s and ladies groups will compete,” he stated.
“But the crucial aspect is our area is showed for Hangzhou 2022, and that’s a very fantastic outcome for us.”