South Korea's Yoon Hye-suk, left, and Lee Eu-na Image Credit: AP

Dubai: The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has announced the immediate postponement of the Sixth Asian Beach Games that were due to be held in Sanya City, China from April 2-10, 2021.

The OCA released a statement on Wednesday to say that the decision had been taken after taking into consideration the situation regarding the global COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and health protocols around the continent.

The OCA also announced that new dates for the Sixth Asian Beach Games will be determined after joint consultations with the stakeholders.

“The OCA consulted all members of the Executive Board to seek their approval of the move to postpone, and it was met with unanimous agreement,” a statement from the OCA, said.

The OCA Executive Board decision was made after an in-depth discussion between the Olympic Council of Asia, the Chinese Olympic Committee and the Sanya Asian Beach Games Organising Committee (SABGOC) held earlier during the week.

“The decision aims at serving the common interests of all related National Olympic Committees and ensuring the safety and health of the athletes and all relevant participants,” the OCA statement added.

Meanwhile, the OCA has promised that it will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with all stakeholders for the follow-up matters and decide on a future date for the Sixth Asian Beach Games.

The Games were first originally scheduled to take place from November 28 to December 6, 2020 but were put back to April 2021 following the pandemic.

Sanya will become the second Chinese city to host the Asian Beach Games, after Haiyang hosted the Games in 2012.

The design for the Games’ medals was unveiled on June 17, 2020 with the inspiration for the design concept coming from an ancient Chinese poem ‘The bright moon rises above the sea, bringing us all together at this very moment’.

The OCA had initially announced that the Sanya Games would feature 19 sports in 22 disciplines, but Jiu-Jitsu, Teqball and Woodball were announced at a later date.