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Volume 10 No. 24
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Olympic Council Of Asia President Denies Possibility Of Oceania Athletes At Asian Games

The head of the Olympic Council of Asia "dashed hopes" that athletes from Oceania nations, including Australia and New Zealand, might be able to compete in the Asian Games from '22, according to Nick Mulvenney of REUTERS. Athletes from the two countries took part in the Asian Winter Games as "guests" in Sapporo, Japan, earlier this year and the Australian Olympic Committee said that talks "were being held about extending the invitation to the summer versions." Nineteen Oceania nations are represented for the first time at the ongoing Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan but OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah said that "the Asian Games was already too big." He said, "With the Asian Games, we are already at 15,000 athletes and officials and we cannot add to that number. In the Beach Games and Indoor Games we can continue to have our coordination and cooperation, but for the Asian Games the number is very high and we cannot have an Olympic Village with more than 15,000 people" (REUTERS, 9/18).