By Tom Degun in Singapore
August 26 - The 16th Asian Games, which take place in Guangzhou this November, are set to be the biggest in the competition’s history while all of the venues for the event in China are expected to be fully ready by September, officials claimed here.
Guangzhou will see more events and athletes taking part than ever before with women’s events for sports such as boxing, kabaddi and water polo being included for the first time.
The Games will also be larger in scale to its predecessors with a total of 70 venues set to be in operation for the various competitions.
Ji Lei, deputy manager for the Ticketing Division of the Guangzhou 2010, said here: "Guangzhou will have the most number of events and contestants and is the biggest in history.
"It will feature 42 sports, comprising the 28 Olympic Games events and 14 non-Olympic sports.
"What’s special about these 14 is that they are uniquely Asian and familiar to the people as recreation.
"Making their formal debut at the Games are four major sports: dancesport, dragon boat, roller sports and cricket, and two board games, weiqi and xiangqi.”
Ji also claimed that he had little apprehension about selling tickets for sports such as cricket that do not have large profiles in China.
He said: "We will do our best to bring cricket to the people of China and we are not worried about tickets not being taken up for the event."
The competition will put the international spotlight on Guangzhou and with over 300,000 visitors expected during the Games; the impact on tourism will be considerable.
Officials estimate that every $1 (£0.64) spent will generate a multiplier effect of about $5 (£3.29) due to the increased volume of people in the Chinese city.
Organisers also revealed that three million tickets will be available to the public, and these are mostly priced between around $1.5 (£1) and $75 (£50).
Events like table tennis and gymnastics saw a strong response during the initial phase of sales in May but there will still be tickets available to the public when the final round of sales begins in October.
The Games will run from November 12-27 while the inaugural Asian Para Games for athletes with a disability will take place in Guangzhou from December 12-19.
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