Olympic body likely to refuse Olsen's Asian Games request

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 February, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 February, 1998, 12:00am

The Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (ASF & OC) will knock back a bid by Hong Kong squash officials to get Dawn Olsen selected for December's Asian Games.

Long-serving squash ace Olsen falls foul of Asian Games regulations which stipulate that competitors must have been born in Asia or have at least have one Asian parent.

Hong Kong Squash's chief executive Heather Deayton said the local body had nominated Olsen and Rebecca Chiu Wing-yin as the two women's singles players for the Bangkok Games.

Deayton said although she was aware Olsen might not meet criteria for the Games, Hong Kong Squash would ask the ASF & OC to take up the case.

But ASF & OC vice-president Con Conway all but ruled out Olsen's chances yesterday when told of the Hong Kong Squash bid. Asked if it was possible for Olsen to be granted special dispensation, Conway said: 'Regrettably, there's not a chance.

'The rules regarding eligibility are quite clear. Unless you are born in Asia or have one Asian parent you are unable to participate - the OCA has had similar cases to this in the past and have never made exceptions,' he said.

Conway, who is also president of the Hong Kong Hockey Association, said his organisation would also encounter eligibility problems. 'We have a number of players who are eligible to play international hockey but won't be able to play in the Asian Games,' Conway said.

Deayton said Olsen's case had received support from the Asian and World Squash Federations and that it would be a 'tragedy' if she was prevented from participating in the Games.

'We realise that strictly speaking she does not meet the eligibility rules. But she has lived in Hong Kong all of her life and it would be a shame if she was not allowed to compete in the Asian Games,' Deayton said.

Olsen, who has lived in Hong Kong since she was four years old, would be a strong Hong Kong medal prospect, Deayton said.