Shunned officials vow to fight on
They are both out of the next two-year Focus Sports cycle, which starts in April.
But athletics and gymnastics have not given up hope of retaining their elite label at the Sports Institute and have lodged appeals with the Hong Kong Sports Development Board (SDB).
Tenpin bowling, meanwhile, will also press its claims for another chance to gain entry into the elite fraternity.
Eleven sports were picked last week as Focus Sports by the SDB. Athletics and gymnastics, which failed to qualify under a new points system, lost their special privileges, which includes facilities at the Sha Tin Institute, a head coach and other technical assistance.
But officials of these two sports have not given up and will present their case before a fresh committee on Thursday.
'The whole exercise included an appeal mechanism and these two sports are using it. Tenpin bowling is lodging an appeal because it thinks it came close enough to being elected a Focus Sports,' said Andrew Ma, SDB chief executive.
The appeals panel will be chaired by SDB chairman John Hung and will comprise Billy Kong and David Yau.
The trio were not part of the original selection committee that decided which sports should be given preferential treatment until 2001.
A few days after gymnastics was dropped, a placard-waving protest was held in Kowloon by its supporters, who demanded that the facilities at the Sports Institute remain for gymnastics.
'No decision has been made as far as the gymnastic facilities is concerned. But the SDB pledges that we will take care of the sport and give them a dedicated venue if the worst-case scenario happens and they lose their appeal.'