Oceania nations, inclusive of sporting powerhouse Australia, were invited to compete in Olympic group events inclusive of soccer and basketball on the 2022 Asian Games for the first time.

The choice came at a meeting of the Olympic Council of Asia in Bangkok overdue Sunday, with Australia welcoming the flow as “completely superb final results.”

Oceania nations, together with Australia, to compete at 2022 Asian Games 1

“Australia may be very thankful for this possibility, and there can be significant interest from our Oceania neighbors,” stated Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates on Monday. “This is something I have been pursuing for more than 20 years.”

The Games’ invitation in China’s Hangzhou is restrained to volleyball, seashore volleyball, basketball and football, and fencing, ruling out sports that include swimming and tune cycling, which Australia might be predicted to dominate. It culminates a long Australian-led drive for more potent ties with the Olympic Council of Asia. “This has been quite an adventure that in the end will gain athletes in this place,” brought Coates.

Oceania nations, together with Australia, to compete at 2022 Asian Games 2

Oceania — Australia, New Zealand, and a swathe of Pacific islands — has no longer taken element inside the local Olympics earlier than, but wearing ties with Asia were developing.

Australia has been a member of the Asian Football Confederation due to the fact that 2006 and formerly took component within the East Asian Games in Osaka in 2001 and the 2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo. With 35 sports and 10,000 athletes competing, the Asian Games is 2d only to the Olympics as an international multi-recreation occasion.

Coates stated the quantity of Australian athletes competing in 2022 might be contained. “There’s a cap of 10,000 athletes for these Games, so there’ll need to be some choices made along with the manner approximately which Australian men’s and ladies groups will compete,” he stated. “But the critical element in our region is showed for Hangzhou 2022, and that’s a completely tremendous outcome for us.”