By Nick Butler

Sungsik Cho providing an update about the Incheon 2014 Asian Games during the OCA Regional Forum ©BOCFinal preparations for the Incheon 2014 Asian Games played a leading role during an Olympic Solidarity and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Regional Forum Conference in Bahrain.

The two-day conference, which began on Wednesday (May 7) at the Regency Intercontinental Hotel in the capital city of Manama, was attended by 54 officials from 26 National Olympic Committees (NOC) across west, central and south Asia.

After a minute's silence for victims of the South Korean ferry tragedy, in which more than 250 passengers mostly consisting of schoolchildren were killed when the MV Sewol ship capsized and sank last month, a presentation was provided by the NOC services manager of the Incheon 2014 International Relations Department, Sungsik Cho.

With the Games in South Korea due to begin in a little over four months' time on September 19, he focused on aspects including accreditation registration, which ends on May 30 and takes approximately one month for approval, and media accreditation due to close on May 20.

He also outlined details of an NOC Services Centre set up especially to unify operational NOC services for better participation in the Asian Games, with sports entries, the arrival and departure system and local logistics and customs, other areas covered.

Also on the agenda were final details on the Athletes' and Media Village, as well as on transport, accommodation, the Opening and Closing ceremonies, medical services, doping control, IT communication services and the NOC rate card.

Delegates listen to presentations during the OCA Regional Forum in Bahrain ©BOCDelegates listen to presentations during the OCA Regional Forum in Bahrain

This was followed by a second presentation by the Sports Authority of Thailand's international cooperation division director Nittaya Kerdjuntuk, who spoke about her nation's preparations to host the 4th Asian Beach Games in Phuket, Thailand from November 14 to 21.

Kerdjuntuk outlined how 43 NOCs and nearly 3,700 athletes have submitted their entries to the Organising Committee ahead of the June 30 deadline, while the inclusion of the three new sports of jiu jitsu, squash and sambo were also highlighted.

A final presentation was provided by Xiaojia Tong, the International Relations Department deputy director for Nanjing 2014, ahead of the 2nd Summer Youth Olympics due to take place from August 16 to 28.

Tong gave feedback on a number of key events in the build-up over recent months, including a Youth Cultural Festival held from March 22 to 30 and a Youth Ambassadors Seminar from March 24 to 28.

These presentations followed an opening day in which discussion took place between the NOCs in relation to issues spanning the principles of good governance, communication with respective Governments and structure, as well as specific programmes, the election process and partnering with the private sector to develop sport.

At the end of the second day, closing addresses were provided by Organising Committee chairman Nawaf Abdulrahman and the Bahrain Olympic Committee acting general secretary Abdulrahman Askar, after which each received special commemorative gifts in an appreciation to their efforts in organising the Forum.

The event is the first Olympic Solidarity and OCA Forum to be held in more than a year, with the last such meeting taking place in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo in March last year.

It will be followed next week by a similar forum for east and south-east Asia due to begin on Sunday (May 11) in Myanmar.

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