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Sarah Lee Wai-sze

Hong Kong’s star cyclist Sarah Lee may have to alter Rio Games plans after test event is cancelled

Olympic medal hopeful, who is altitude training in Kunming, is seeking to go to Brazil early to become familiar with the venue, which is still under construction

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 March, 2016, 9:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 March, 2016, 9:34pm

Olympic medal hopeful Sarah Lee Wai-sze will have to change her plans for the Rio Games after organisers called off the track cycling test event scheduled for next month.

Hong Kong Cycling Association chairman Leung Hung-tak said the event was part of Lee’s build-up to the Games and now they had to look for other opportunities.

READ MORE: Hong Kong cycling star Sarah Lee still confident of Olympic medal despite World Championships struggle

“There have been doubts over whether the test event would go ahead because of the delays in venue construction,” said Leung.

“And now we may need to go to Rio a bit earlier to get familiar with the venue and will ask the organisers shortly. We hope they will entertain our request.”

Now we may need to go to Rio a bit earlier to get familiar with the venue and will ask the organisers shortly
Leung Hung-tak

Lee, a bronze medallist in the women’s keirin at the 2012 London Olympics, will be taking part in both the sprint and keirin in Rio. The sprinter is now in Kunming, China, where she is undergoing altitude training before moving back to their training base in Guangzhou next month.

“We still have to discuss with the coach to find out the best way for Lee after the cancellation of the test event, but it will be important to try the race track before the Games,” said Leung.

The test event had been scheduled for April 30 and May 1, but a Rio Games official said a decision was made to cancel the event due to delays in the installation of support structures.

“We had some logistical problems, such as unloading the wood into the venue and to install containers and offices,” said communication chief Mario Andrada.

“It’s always better to be safe than sorry. In this case, putting down the track in a hurry could cause a risk to the athletes, so we took the tough decision.

“We are 120 per cent confident it will be ready for the Olympics.”

The venue will now be open by the end of May, while the Olympic track events will be held from August 11 to 16.