June 30, 2023
BEIJING – The second World Press Briefing for the 19th Asian Games got underway in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on Wednesday with officials from the Olympic Council of Asia, or OCA, praising the organizers for ensuring the best possible conditions for the participants, despite the challenges.
In his message, Husain Al-Musallam, director general of the OCA, said the whole continent was waiting for the 16-day sporting extravaganza to begin, after it was postponed for a year due to the pandemic.
“It was a difficult decision, and it was made with the full support of the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee, or HAGOC, and the Chinese Olympic Committee,” he said in his letter. “Looking back, we believe it was the correct decision. Looking forward, we now have the free and open 19th Asian Games which the athletes, National Olympic Committees, spectators and media can truly embrace and create a spirit of friendship and unity,” he added. He lauded the teamwork of the OCA and the Hangzhou games officials.
The postponement presented a big task, but Hangzhou defied all odds to get everything done on time, said Gnanapragasam Anthony J Mariadass, an OCA official responsible for media operations.
The briefing is being attended by over 300 representatives from the Olympic Council of Asia, national Olympic committees, international federations, news agencies and media outlets from both home and abroad as well as officials from the 2026 Aichi-Nagoya Asian Games in Japan. Another 100 participants are joining online.
The press briefing offers the media the opportunity to understand the best way to cover the world’s largest sporting gala in terms of the number of events, which will have medals up for grabs in 483 official events and will take place from Sept 23 to Oct 8. Details of media services and operational plans will be explained during two days of venue visits and seminars.
According to Xu Deqing, director of the publicity department of HAGOC, the press conference will allow the media to obtain all information about the Hangzhou Asian Games, as well as promote cultural exchanges and foster closer ties.
The briefing includes a series of presentations to impart information about competition schedules, venues and press operations.
The organizing committee and media representatives will also exchange ideas about media arrivals and departures, transportation and logistics, catering and accommodation and press accreditations. Various services and amenities, such as cabins, traditional Chinese medicine booths, salons, souvenir stores, post services and cafes will be provided for media professionals at the Main Media Center.
“Media Online”, an internet media service platform, will be launched in August to facilitate accredited members to travel between venues, book accommodation, arrange interviews and get access to the official information system.
During the briefing, delegates will visit a series of competition venues, such as the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium, the Olympic Sports Center Main Gymnasium, the Binjiang Gymnasium, the Media Village and the Main Media Centre, among others.