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Shake-up on horizon for Asian events

ASIAN sports chiefs are planning a radical shake-up of the sporting calendar and the merging of some events to ease the burden and cost shouldered by National Olympic Committees in the region.

The biggest changes under the plan would result in the Asian Indoor Games and the Asian Martial Arts Games merging into one event.

The region's flagship event, the Asian Games, would also be pushed back one year from its traditional slot to a position just a year before the Summer Olympics instead of two.

Due to existing commitments, the new cycle would not start until 2016.

If the radical plan proposed by the Olympic Council of Asia's (OCA) powerful Sports Committee is ratified by the General Assembly meeting in Singapore tomorrow, the OCA would be left with five events rather than six.

Sports Committee chairman Wei Jizhong said the new cycle would alleviate the logistical burden on the OCA's 45 National Olympic Committees, and result in only one multi-sports event per year - except in the year of an Asian Winter Games, when there would be two.

The OCA also plans to restrict one sport to one games, except in special circumstances such as beach volleyball when the same sport could appear in two different games, Wei added.

"Starting from 2016 we will use the new cycle, following studies and discussions among committee members and with the OCA technical department," said Wei.

"This proposal will go to the Executive Board and in general we accept, with some comments. We will say the Sports Committee agreed in principle with all these proposals regarding the distribution of sports and the cycle," he told the OCA's Website.

The OCA is staging three events this year: the first Asian Youth Games in Singapore, the first Asian Martial Arts Games in Thailand and the third Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam.

The two OCA events slated for 2010 are the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, in November, and the second Asian Beach Games in Muscat, Oman, in December.


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