Hong Kong lacks venue and other support to skaters, Winter Olympian's coach says

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 1:11pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 February, 2014, 1:11pm

The coach of Hong Kong’s lone Winter Olympian said on Thursday a team doctor was only part of the essential support to athletes.

Skating coach Lu Shuo rebutted suggestions by Hong Kong delegation chief Ronnie Wong Man-chiu that speed skater Barton Lui Pan-to could still get medical care at local clinics in Sochi, Russia in the absence of a team doctor.

Lui earlier lashed out at Hong Kong sports officials for not including a doctor in the city’s Olympic delegation. He crashed out on Sunday after finishing fifth out of six in his 1,500-metre heat last Sunday.

Speaking on a Commercial Radio programme, Lu also said there was no standard practising venue or educational assistance in Hong Kong to support athletes.

Lu disagreed with Wong’s claim that Lui was finding an excuse for his failure to achieve his best personal record.

"I think he’s done very well already," said Lu. "He’s already won by waving the Hong Kong flag."

Senior Hong Kong Olympic Committee official Pang Chung on Wednesday suggested that the delegation could have a team doctor if Hong Kong Skating Union president Yip Siu-yin, who was the team leader, had surrendered her seat.

But Lu disagreed.

"She was responsible for conferences and [liaison] with adjudicators," he said. "The higher the game’s level, the more necessary it is to divide the labour between the team leader and the coach.