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Biggest-ever Asian Games ready for liftoff in China after Covid delay

The Asian Games in Hangzhou are set to open on Saturday
— Hangzhou (China) (AFP)

The biggest Asian Games in history, boasting about 12,000 competitors -- more than the Olympics -- will open on Saturday in the Chinese city of Hangzhou after a year's delay because of Covid.

Athletes including world and Olympic champions will fight for medals in 40 sports from athletics, swimming and football to eSports and bridge.

Nine sports, among them boxing, break dancing and tennis, will serve as qualifiers for next year's Paris Olympics.

The Games were supposed to take place last September but were postponed because of China's strict zero-Covid rules, before China's ruling Communist Party abruptly abandoned the policy.

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