By Nick Butler

CK Wu believes there are increasing opportunities for Asia in sport...including in the 2022 race ©AFP/Getty ImagesJanuary 22 - International Boxing Association (AIBA) President CK Wu has spoken optimistically of the prospects of more Asian sporting success in the form of Almaty and Beijing's bids for the 2022 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games. 

Wu, also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and an unsuccessful candidate in last year's Presidential contest, described both bids as "ambitious and capable and with all the relevant resources to succeed". 

"Kazakhstan has hosted winter sports before - the Asian Winter Games in 2011 and the Winter Universiade in 2017 - so is experienced and has facilities as well as winter sports fans and people," he told insidethegames.

"They are very capable.

"China are seeking the two events, the Winter Olympics as well as the FIFA World Cup, that they have never held, so are really keen to build on the success of Beijing 2008 and find out if their bid is good enough. 

"It will be interesting in July when the IOC have their Executive Board Meeting to see if they will remain in the three or four cities chosen there."

CK Wu sees opportunities for more Asian countries to follow in the footsteps of Tokyo in being awarded an Olympic and Paralympic Games ©AFP/Getty ImagesCK Wu sees opportunities for more Asian countries to follow in the footsteps of Tokyo in being awarded an Olympic and Paralympic Games ©AFP/Getty Images

Speaking during the Asian Sporting Centerary celebrations in Manila, Wu hailed the improvement enjoyed more generally in Asian sport over the last 30 years. 

"Asian countries are very keen to bid for and host events and I think with the largest population in the world I think Asia has great potential," he told insidethegames.

"I think the Olympic Games proves that sport in Asia is improving very fast.

"I think there is a big difference compared with the past and the Olympic Games in South Korea and China helped to build momentum.

"Sport and major events can make a country more prestigious and help a country develop, with the Philippines as well as Vietnam and Indonesia good examples of this."

Rather like a similar line to be built between Seoul and Pyeongchang ahead of the 2018 Games, Wu cited the example of the high speed rail line that will bring together the two proposed locations of Beijing and Ziangjiakou as evidence that "the most efficient and effective way to develop a country is through sporting events".

He also spoke of the financial difficulties for other regions such as Europe to organise events and claimed that it can be "more economically sound for NOC's (National Olympic Committees) to come to Asia". 

The withdrawal of Stockholm from the 2022 race, with financial reasons contributing to Government reluctance to endorse the bid, can be taken as evidence of this, with both Almaty and Beijing seemingly less restricted by economic constraints.

Krakow Lviv, and Oslo are also bidding for the Games.

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