Games guards push top cyclist to ground

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 October, 2009, 12:00am

Hong Kong cycling coach Shen Jinkang has complained about rude and violent security staff at the National Games after medal hopeful Wong Kam-po was pushed to the floor in a scuffle with guards and a team official was beaten.

Shen was speaking after reports in mainland media said Wong, a two-time National Games gold medallist, narrowly avoided injury in the scuffle on Tuesday as he tried to enter a training venue in Jinan , Shandong , where the Games are being held. 'There were some heated exchanges between Wong and the guards but no one was injured,' Shen said. 'The security guards are very rude here and they treat the National Games like the Olympics Games, and never do the athletes any favours.

'Sometimes we try to get into the venue for training only 10 minutes earlier than usual, but they stop us, saying we have come too early and the rules do not allow it.'

Shen accused the security guards of using excessive force the following day when team trainer Zhang Baiming was involved in a scuffle that also involved the Shanghai team.

'Zhang was trying to understand what happened when he saw the security guards and the Shanghai team involved in a brawl as the team tried to get into the training venue,' Shen said.

'But the security guards also beat Zhang, and the case is being handled by the police. The incident is now over and our preparation for the Games has not been affected. But we are a bit disappointed in the way the security guards treat the teams, and hope the situation can improve.'

Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, said he was very concerned about the case and would bring it to the attention of the Games' organiser.

A report in the Yangtse Wan Bao quoted a witness as saying the Shanghai team coach was beaten to the ground with sticks by the guards. The coach was now stable in hospital.

Shandong vice-governor Huang Sheng, who is also vice-director of the Games organising committee, apologised at a press conference on Thursday, but without making direct reference to the incident. He said he would make sure the security arrangements served the people better.