Vietnam's capital Hanoi has won the right to host the 18th Asian Games in 2019, beating Indonesia's second biggest city Surabaya in a vote at the 31st General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) here on Thursday.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, president of the OCA, told the press conference that he believed Hanoi would make their commitment, without revealing the details of the voting.
"The majority of the votes are for the city of Hanoi to hold the 2019 Asian Games," said Al-Sabah. "The leaders of the country, the sports groups of the country, we have trust that they will reach their commitment, and as a partner we will work very closely with them to bring the best Games ever in Asia."
"We will start for the Asian Games early next year," said Hoang Tuan Anh, minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and president of Vietnam Olympic Committee. "We believe that the Asian Games will bring developments to Vietnam's sports."
Hanoi emerged as the favorite after the Vietnamese government pledged to spend million of dollars on infrastructure development which would "transform Hanoi into a modern city".
Vietnam has never hosted the Asian Games before but staged the 3rd Asian Indoor Games in 2009 and also the 2003 SEA Games.
Surabaya was awarded the right to host the 2021 Asian Youth Games. United Arab Emirates' Dubai, the third city in the running for the Games, withdrew just hours before the vote, saying it intended to concentrate on bidding for future editions of Asian Games.
The Asian Games are held every four years but will switch to a five-year gap for one edition after the 17th edition in Incheon, South Korea, in 2014, to establish a new four-year cycle.