China sees return of major sporting events in run up to Beijing Winter Olympics

Logo and mascots of the 14th National Games of China in the Shaanxi Province. /VCG

The National Games of China have begun, marking China’s first major sporting event since the pandemic began.

Staged in Shaanxi province, the games will be used to test run health restrictions ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Spectators are allowed to the games provided they show a negative Covid test result 72 hours of entering any venues and adults must be fully vaccinated.

The National Games of China programme is almost identical to the Tokyo Olympics schedule, with an opening and closing ceremony and more than 400 events contested.

The International Olympic Committee will be looking closely at this event as it prepares its own guidelines ahead of the Winter Olympics.