Olympic Council of Asia
Macau, China: The 62nd Olympic Council of Asia Executive Board meeting took place at the Banyan Tree Hotel in Macau on Wednesday afternoon, on the eve of the 31st OCA General Assembly at the Macau East Asian Games Dome. The OCA President, H.E. Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, welcomed the EB members, guests and observers to the meeting and thanked the Sports and Olympic Committee of Macau, China, and the government of Macau for their support and organisation.
It was an important time for the Olympic Movement in general, said Sheikh Ahmad, due to the forthcoming OCA business as well as meetings of the Olympic Solidarity Commission and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Executive Council on Friday. “We are starting a new term in the Olympic Movement after the London Olympic Games, one of the most successful ever,” said Sheikh Ahmad.
“There are also elections within the National Olympic Committees and International Federations, so we hope the new executive boards of the NOCs, especially in Asia, will work for the benefit of the youth and the movement in Asia.” The OCA would also be starting a new cycle of multi-sports events next year, said Sheikh Ahmad, and said the EB meeting and General Assembly would assist in the preparations.
“Our success is because of our solidarity and unity and cooperation,” he said. The highlight of the OCA General Assembly on Thursday will be the election of the host city for the 2019 Asian Games. There are three bids, from Surabaya (Indonesia), Hanoi (Vietnam) and Dubai (UAE), and the OCA President appealed for the bid committees to respect the vote and accept the decision with the same spirit and behavior like athletes who must compete for only one gold medal.
The Chairman of the OCA Advisory Committee, IOC Vice President Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, gave a report of the morning’s meeting of his committee. The Advisory Committee urges all NOCs to produce more young sports leaders and also to make the most of Olympic Solidarity initiatives and other funding programmes in order to qualify more athletes for the Olympic Games, instead of relying on wild cards.
Mr Ng said that 21 Asian NOCs had failed to win a medal at either the Beijing 2008 Olympics or London 2012, and urged the NOCs to build a base in order to develop athletes to challenge for Olympic medals. Finally, Mr Ng said several NOCs had expressed concern over the future of taekwondo as an Olympic sport, as the IOC will relegate one of the 26 sports at London 2012 next year and make it fight with eight shortlisted sports for a place in the 2020 Olympics.
“Taekwondo has worked very hard with good success and the risk maybe less, but this is an issue we are working on to keep the Asian sports in the Olympic Games,” he told the meeting. The EB heard reports on the OCA-backed 5th Children of Asia Games in the Russian Federation this summer, plus preparation updates on the 4th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Incheon, Korea, in 2013, the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, in 2014, and the 2nd Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China, in 2013. The next EB meeting will be held in February or March 2013 at a venue to be determined.