Why Asia is a Top Sport DestinationFebruary 22, 2016
The previous weekend saw Venus Williams winning her 49th singles title in Kaohsiung. It was the first edition of the Taiwan Open, one of the many tournaments in East Asia. The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) saw the rising popularity of tennis in this part of the world.
"Just grew up playing those tournaments in Tokyo and Beijing, and I think Asia is a big market, and it's important to promote tennis there, as well," Caroline Wozniacki said.Not a few observers wonder how players cope with a long season, as the Asian swing takes place after a grueling summer in Europe and North America. (The French Open, Wimbleson, and the US Open are held during that season.) But they couldn't say no to the fans.
"There is no better feeling than having that energy from people that want to watch you play. It's a little bit different when the stadium is a bit more empty; there is no doubt,â€ Maria Sharapova said.
A look at the other sport events
Asian countries like China are traditional powerhouses in volleyball. In fact, the World Grand Prix, which is similar to the World League, had its humble beginning in East Asia. Then there's the World Cup, the first qualifying event for the Olympics. This quadrennial tournament has been held in Japan since its inauguration.
This year's Alpine Skiing World Cup saw the top male skiers competing in Jeongseon, South Korea and Yuzawa Naeba, Japan. It was a dry run, as Pyeongchang will host the 2018 Winter Olympics. But don't be surprised if the International Ski Federation (FIS) will make Asia a fixture in the World Cup circuit in the coming years.
Speaking of Olympics, the next three editions will be staged in Asia. The International Olympic Committee (OIC) would see a rapid economic growth in this region. A prestigious event like the Olympic Games means more opportunities. Although Paris is the favorite to win the bidding for the 2024 Summer Games, expect an Asian city to host the next one. This won't surprise observers, as a number of European cities opt for austerity.
As for the World Cup, Japan and South Korea were successful in co-hosting the FIFA World Cup. It won't be impossible to foresee the quadrennial event being held in Asia in the near future. (Qatar will host the 2022 event.) Not that Europe is ready to give up hosting this event, but football is popular in Asia as well.
Last but not the least, China will host the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. This will mark the first time that 32 national teams will compete for hoop glory. (FIBA revised the rule, which will be beneficial for the foreign NBA players.) There will be more, but you can figure out the trend.
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