Cyclists frustrated after demolition of velodrome and delays to new track

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 January, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 January, 2010, 12:00am

Hong Kong's up and coming track cyclists have been left without a venue for training, after the Hong Kong Sports Institute demolished its outdoor velodrome in Sha Tin this month.

A temporary velodrome in Ma On Shan was supposed to have replaced the Sha Tin facility, but construction delays mean the new venue will not be ready until April.

'This has caught us completely by surprise,' Frederick Chan Chun-hung, general secretary of the Hong Kong Cycling Association, said. 'We were still in discussions with the Sports Institute about interim arrangements, but now we find that the Sha Tin velodrome has already been demolished.

'Now there is nothing we can do but suspend all the training and other activities that we had planned, until the temporary facility opens in April.

'The Sports Institute says we should send our squad members to the mainland for training, but we have still to decide if this is feasible.'

The Sports Institute said it had been in talks with the cycling association and its head coach to help minimise the inconvenience caused by the demolition. A spokesman added: 'We have contingency plans to ensure that training can continue.'

A number of junior track cyclists have been rising up the ranks recently, including Kwok Ho-ting and Choi Ki-ho, who are representing Hong Kong at the World Cup Track Classic in Beijing this week. Kwok won a silver medal in the men's points race there on Friday.

The demolished Sha Tin velodrome will be the site for a new nine-storey, multi-purpose building, part of the Sports Institute's HK$1.7 billion redevelopment project.

A permanent velodrome is to be built in Tseung Kwan O and should be completed in 2016.