No sand, no sun: Asian Beach Games postponed to April 2021

Fadhil Yunus

Brunei Darussalam national athletes will join the rest of their continental rivals in facing a longer wait before vying for honours in the 6th Asian Beach Games (ABG) in Sanya, China following the postponement of the multi-sport meet in April 2021.

Previously scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 6 this year, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has announced the new dates from April 2 to 10, 2021. The name of the Games ‘the 6th Asian Beach Games Sanya 2020’ and the logo will remain unchanged.

The decision was taken following a joint meeting between the OCA, the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) and the Sanya Asian Beach Games Organising Committee (SABGOC).

“The decision taken jointly in collaboration with COC and the Sanya Asian Beach Games Organising Committee will ensure the safety of the athletes and officials as well as the spectators in these unprecedented times of COVID-19 pandemic,” a joint statement reads.

“The Sports Entry as well as other technical details will be readjusted in collaboration with SABGOC and will be announced shortly,” it added.

The OCA also added that they are positive that the Games with the joint efforts of all the involved parties will turn out a great success.

The future of the games looked to be uncertain following news of China imposing a ban on all international sporting events last month with the exception of trials for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The decision, which was made by the China’s General Administration of Sport, prompted the OCA to issue a statement on the re-scheduling of the Asian Beach Games with the collaboration of other relevant parties.

The OCA said at the time, “The OCA and the COC are in discussion to reschedule the dates of the Asian Beach Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Once a decision has been made, OCA jointly with COC and the SABGOC will announce the new dates regarding the sixth Asian Beach Games,” it further added.

Brunei Darussalam has been a mainstay in the multi-sport competition having appeared in each of the last five editions since its debut in Bali, Indonesia in 2008.

The Sultanate won its first gold medal in beach sepak takraw in the men’s trios’ event at Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand in 2014.