KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: The regional rivalry between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has seen honours even in hosting rights to the Asian Games.

The the 39th Olympic Council of Asia general assembly decided to award the 2030 Games to Doha and 2034 to Riyadh.

Delegates reached a compromise after OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah proposed a “win win situation”. An executive board meeting of the OCA unanimously approved that the runner-up in the two-horse race or 2030 should be handed 2034.

This means back-to-back Games will be held in West Asia. Doha hosted the Asian Games in 2006 while Saudi Arabia has never organised an OCA multi-sport event.

Voting was repeatedly delayed due to technical problems with the online system. In the end, the 19 National Olympic Committees participating remotely voted electronically, while the 26 nations present at the JW Marriott Hotel walked up to a ballot box one after the other to submit their ballots.

The voting numbers in the host cities election were 27 for Doha, 10 for Riyadh and there were 8 abstentions.

The next two Asian Games will be held in East Asia, China’s Hangzhou from September 10-25, 2022 and Japan’s Aichi and Nagoya from September 19 to October 4, 2026.