13 Apr. 2020
From 10 to 25 September 2022, the very best men’s and women’s handball teams from across Asia will compete at the 19th edition of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China – and the host nation last week revealed the mascots which fans and athletes are set to see with everything connected to the Games.
The ‘Smart Triplets’ are three sporty robots which represent the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hangzhou and ‘reflect the internet prowess of Hangzhou city and Zhejiang province’, according to the organising committee of Hangzhou 2022.
Named ‘Congcong’, ‘Lianlian’ and ‘Chenchen’, the mascots were revealed in a digital ‘e-ceremony’ to the world due to the ongoing restrictions surrounding the global COVID-19 outbreak.
‘Congcong’ represents the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City with the name coming from the ‘Cong jade pendant’ – a relic unearthed from the ruins, which date back 5,000 years. ‘Lianlian’ represents the West Lake and the name signifies a lake full of lush lotus leaves, while ‘Chenchen’ represents the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and is named after the Gongchen Bridge – a landmark structure in the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal.
“The mascots proudly join the ranks of the emblem and slogan of the Hangzhou Asian Games, completing the full presentation of the unique glamour of the Hangzhou Asian Games,” said a statement on the Hangzhou 2020 website, while Raja Randhir Singh, Chairman of the Coordination Committee added “…the mascots are vibrant and rich in content, integrating Chinese culture, characteristics of the city of Hangzhou and the spirit of the Asian Games and the Asian continent.”
Over 4,500 submissions for the mascot design were received by the organising committee with Zhang Wen and Yang Hongyi, lecturers from the China Academy of Art, winning the commission.
After the inaugural edition of the Asian Games back in India in 1951, the continental multi-sport event has grown considerably and now includes 45 Asian countries competing across 42 sports.
Taking place every four years, the Games featured handball for the first time in New Delhi, India at the 1982 edition, with China winning the men’s competition. A women’s competition was added eight years later, in 1990, which was won by Republic of Korea.
Since the debuts of both the men’s and women’s competitions, handball has proved to be one of the most successful sports with Korea’s teams dominating. Their women’s side have won seven out of the eight competitions, while early dominance from their men’s team (1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010) has shifted west in recent years, to Qatar, who have won the past two (2014 and 2018).
The 2022 mascot announcement followed the reveal of the 2026 Asian Games logo last week in Tokyo, Japan. The 20th edition of the continental event will take place in Aichi-Nagoya from 19 September to 4 October 2026.
For more information on the 2022 Asian Games, visit the official website at www.hangzhou2022.cn.