Yang Shen Wei, head of the Chengdu 2025 delegation, claims the Chinese city will stage an "exceptional and unforgettable sporting event" ©IWGA

International World Games Association (IWGA) chief executive Joachim Gossow admits organisers are playing catch up to prepare for the 2025 World Games in Chengdu, China.

The curtain has recently come down on the Birmingham 2022 World Games, passing the baton to Chengdu 2025 to stage the next edition.

Birmingham in the United States hosted the event one year later than planned because of the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delay leaves Chengdu 2025 organisers with three years instead of four to get ready for the next edition as they consider the sports programme.

"It is challenge, but the challenges will be more for our IFs [International Federations] as we have to catch up time with them," said Gossow.

"The year that we lost would normally be used for the evaluation process after the Games and application process and discuss with our next hosts the sports programme before we go to the ratification at our AGM [Annual General Meeting].

"This is a timeline that we always have to respect.

"Therefore, we now have to catch up a year to establish everything, so the evaluation, application process and ratification of the programme which includes discussion with our host city.

"We have already discussed with our staff how we can do it in a very efficient way.

"This is in cooperation with the city as all of us must feel well in this preparation and the rest of the time will play out for the Games."

Chengdu is expected to stage the 2025 World Games from August 7 to 17, but Gossow said the dates had yet to be formally agreed as officials monitor the COVID-19 situation.

"With what is happening in this world at the moment we want to be a little bit cautious to announce [the dates]," said Gossow.

"We are planning for early August, but we have to look at all the developments.

"We are sitting here in masks and for good reason.

"We had a low number of cases here [in Birmingham] but no one will know how this will develop over the next month and this is a crucial period for us."

Chengdu was forced to postpone the 2021 Summer World University Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic ©Getty Images
Chengdu was forced to postpone the 2021 Summer World University Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic ©Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the sporting calendar in China with the Chengdu 2021 Summer World University Games forced to be postponed.

The Games were expected to be staged this year following the 2021 postponement only for the event to be delayed again and moved to 2023.

Chengdu was awarded the 2025 World Games during the IWGA AGM at the SportAccord Convention in Gold Coast in May 2019.

It will be only the second time the Games have taken place in Asia having been held in Kaohsiung in Chinese Taipei in 2009.

"Chengdu has sound venue conditions for sporting competitions, outstanding capabilities in event organisations and rich experience in organising sporting events with powerful technical support," said Yang Shen Wei, head of the Chengdu 2025 delegation.

"We have the Chinese Olympic Committee, the General Administration of Sport of China and the Sichuan Provincial Government totally supporting Chengdu’s preparation for the 2025 World Games.

"After the Birmingham 2022 World Games, Chengdu together with the IWGA will set the dates and sports and announce the final decision worldwide.

"Chengdu will make every effort in making the 2025 World Games an exceptional and unforgettable sporting event."