The failure of the International Olympic Committee to decide whether Hong Kong will host equestrian events for the 2008 Beijing Games is disappointing. It had seemed that our city's long-held ambition to become an Olympic venue was about to be realised. An announcement was expected in Berlin early yesterday. There were advance reports that the decision had already been made in Hong Kong's favour. But when the moment arrived, the ruling was postponed. And there are now doubts as to whether Hong Kong will get the equestrian events after all. There are reasonable grounds for the IOC's decision to take more time to consider the issue. The International Equestrian Federation has raised strong opposition to the idea of switching the events from Beijing to Hong Kong. Members of the sport do not want to miss the party in the capital. That is where almost all of the other events are taking place. It is where the other competitors will be based. This is, after all, the Beijing Olympics. We can understand that the equestrian teams might feel they are being left out if asked to compete in a separate, self-contained competition almost 2,000km away in Hong Kong. If Beijing is able to stage the events without any serious risks or problems then they should go ahead in the capital as planned. But the organisers of the Games have made it clear that they do not think this is possible. There are worries that some of the 300 horses that would participate might pick up one of 17 equine diseases prevalent in Beijing. Mainland officials have also expressed concerns that it will not be possible for the city to establish the necessary 'disease-free zone' for the animals. This is why the organisers are now asking for the events to be moved to Hong Kong. The IOC intends to look into whether the problems faced by Beijing are insurmountable. If they are - then the events should be switched to Hong Kong. We have facilities and health protocols of the highest international standards. The Jockey Club, which will provide the venues for the events, has a wealth of experience. Hong Kong is therefore an attractive location. While competitors would be far from the athletes' village, our city's international outlook, stunning skyline, and - most of all - the enthusiasm of our people would help make up for the medal hopefuls' missing out on the atmosphere in Beijing. Equestrian events are not particularly popular here - yet. But interest in the sport would undoubtedly grow if the Olympic show-jumping, dressage and eventing competitions were to be held in Hong Kong. This would be our part of the Olympics - and that would make the events special. We have waited a long time for the opportunity. If the decision goes Hong Kong's way, we will certainly make the most of it.