Durban to host 2022 Commonwealth Games while Hangzhou to host 2022 Asian Games.


Last month, the host city for the Commonwealth Games 2022 and also the Asian Games 2022 was announced respectively. These two games are widely considered as the two biggest multi-sporting events in the world, just behind the Summer Olympics. Commonwealth Games involves participation of athletes from over 50 nations which are former territories of the past British empire while Asian Games involves participation of athletes from 40 countries in the largest continent in the world, Asia. Both of the games are held once in every four years, following the similar interval with the Olympics.

Malaysia is part of both of the games since Malaysia was once British territory before we gained independence in 1957, and our country is in Asia continent. We have hosted the Commonwealth Games back in 1998, but surprisingly, we have not hosted Asian Games before. In comparison, even our neighbouring country, Thailand had hosted it five times! And we have none. Our country bid for the games several times in the past but lost. It must be that our presentation to the voters is not good enough every time. Now, lesser and lesser countries expressed interest to host these games mainly due to the concern of the high cost of hosting them.

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Despite that concern, I’m sure that my country, Malaysia is still capable of hosting Asian Games and we should. Of course, hosting Olympics is far from our reach but can’t we go a bit further (by hosting Asian Games) rather than just focusing on smaller games like the next South East Asian Games which is scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017? We should dream bigger! Set our sight on Asiad’s hosting job. It’s possible. I think we shall bid for 2026 Asian Games as the host for the 2022 Asian Games had already been decided recently.We missed the opportunity to host the 2022 edition since we are not bidding when there is not much competition around.

For the selection of the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games last month, Durban, South Africa is the only city with confirmed bid as the other city, Edmonton, Canada withdrew their bid early this year. Hence, at the Commonwealth Games Federation’s General Assembly, there isn’t a need to vote as there is only a city bidding and hence it is selected officially to host the games seven years from now. It will be the first Commonwealth Games to be held in African continent. The games are set to open on the 18 July 2022, coinciding with the birthday of the late South African President and global icon, Nelson Mandela.

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Same case goes to the selection of the host city for the 2022 Asian Games which was also held last month. There is no other city bidding for the games besides than Hangzhou, China. It is the only city that declared the candidacy in August 2015, a month before the selection. Hence, without any other city battling for the hosting job, Hangzhou is chosen to host the games automatically without the need of voting. If Malaysia bid for this one, we may win because voters may not want to see the games back to China so soon. Now, the voters have no choice. This will be the third time China hosting Asian Games after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010. Well, I actually expected China to host this again so soon after Guangzhou 2010 because the country has a lot of money and will never have any financial or manpower concern. Furthermore, the country is more than capable of delivering fantastic games with over-the-top opening and closing ceremonies.

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Congratulation to both Durban and Hangzhou for being selected to host Commonwealth and Asian Games respectively in 2022. It is an easy path for them without facing any competition by other cities. Well, I think the sports committees involved should really tackle the issue of high cost of hosting the games. Make the games economical and sustainable, and ensure them to present more benefits to the hosting city after the games rather than leaving behind debts and ‘white elephant’ sporting venues.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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