Dark, damp and drizzling, Hangzhou’s date with the Asian Games has been less than ideal. While Thursday and Friday saw the cricket matches abandoned with relentless rain, Saturday is forecast to witness heavier rain, with the organisers struggling to get things moving. Athletes, officials and media from several countries, including Iran, India and Kazakhstan, were caught in the downpour along with their belongings.
Communication remains the biggest barrier to finding one’s way around Hangzhou. While the volunteers – mainly college students – struggled to understand and explain even the basic queries on directions and facilities, the one omnipresent feature has been the language translator machines and apps that everyone seems to be carrying around. Despite that, it has been an uphill task to find information, leaving every non-Chinese visitor resorting to individual ingenuity to survive.
Hangzhou has been called one of the greenest cities in China and it is no lie. The tree-lined, brightly lit streets, barely any people around on the roads and largely deserted areas around the three Games-specific residential areas – the Athletes Village, Technical Officials Village and the Media Village – give an impression of a city still in the process of coming alive. That most of the Games-related facilities, including several stadia and the work areas, have been developed away from the main city only adds to the eeriness, especially at night.
The Indian team’s welcoming ceremony will be held on Friday in the staging area of the Athletes Village. While several Indian athletes have already reached and quite a few including volleyball and football have begun competition as well, the contingent’s official entry will be marked by the hoisting of the flag in the presence of Chef-de-mission Bhupinder Singh Bajwa, who landed in the city only on Thursday morning.
- ISL 2023-24: Bengaluru FC held to frustrating 1-1 draw by NorthEast United in Guwahati
- Kumar Kushagra from Jharkhand bats for a spot in the Indian Premier League
- Uganda beats its first full member and test playing opponent, Zimbabwe in the T20 World Cup Africa Qualifiers
- India vs Australia Live Score Updates 2nd T20: Bishnoi, Prasidh strikes put India on top
- ISL 2023-24 points table LIVE: NorthEast United remains sixth after draw, Indian Super League standings in Round 6