Hong Kong will for the first time play host to preliminary matches in the national Wushu Sanda Games, which will be held at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Wan Chai. SAR sports supremo Timothy Fok Tsung-ting, who chairs the Organising Committee for the Preparation of the HKSAR's Delegation to the Ninth National Games of the People's Republic of China, said the contest would be held between April 18 and 23. Wushu Sanda, or free fighting, is a Chinese martial art in which contestants compete in a ring. The main techniques include kicking, boxing, wrestling and grappling. Members of the PLA use Wushu Sanda when training in hand-to-hand combat. 'It is a great honour for Hong Kong and a tremendous boost to the local sporting community. This will be the first time Hong Kong has hosted a competition for the National Games,' Mr Fok said. The president of the Hong Kong Wushu Union, Ian Fok Chun-wan, said 400 athletes from 38 provinces, municipalities and organisations would come to Hong Kong for the contest. The athletes would vie for 132 places in the finals, to be held in Guangdong in August, he said. 'Wushu Sanda can be traced back to ancient times. Enthusiasts in Hong Kong are no strangers to this sport . . . Spectators will find it very exciting,' Mr Fok said. A committee will be formed to make arrangements for the contest, which Hongkong Post will commemorate by issuing a specially designed stamp sheet. Timothy Fok is president of Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong.