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Asian Games 2018

Asian Games: injuries mar paragliding debut as China athlete breaks his leg and Afghan falls 15 metres

Athletes have been told to be cautious in unpredictable wind conditions in the West Java city of Bogor

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 4:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 5:28pm

Before the Hong Kong paragliders left for the Asian Games, they insisted the sport was safe. This was just a few days after paragliding enthusiast Patrick Chung Yuk-wa, 44, died after he was swept off course and his body was found near Sunset Peak on Lantau Island.

Two accidents have already marred the sport in its Asian Games debut in Bogor, West Java, with Chinese athlete Wang Jianwei and Afghanistan flier Lida Hozoori taken to hospital after crashing during competition.

Hong Kong paragliders, who are not in medal contention so far in the competition, are safe, says an official of the Hong Kong Olympic Committee.

The paragliding is taking place in the resort of Puncak in Bogor, a city about 51 kilometres south of Jakarta.

The wind conditions are constantly changing and speeds often drop dramatically within seconds, forcing paragliders to be extra cautious.

Wang, 36, broke his left leg when he crash-landed on Wednesday and was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Jakarta. He was in stable condition.

“He met tricky wind in the competition, unfortunately, which led to the accident,” China team manager Ding Peng was quoted as saying. “The air current can change its direction at any time, it is impossible to predict.”

Wang was 10 metres from his destination before a strong wind pushed him off course. His parachute lost speed and he crash to the ground and broke his leg.

Hozoori was injured when she fell from 15 metres after failing to control her parachute, reports say. She was also taken by helicopter to hospital. The 24-year-old reportedly suffered neck and back injuries.

“She immediately got medical help and was evacuated to Gatot Subroto Army Hospital aboard a helicopter,” competition manager Wahyu Yudha Dewanto was quoted as saying.

An Afghan official who visited her at the hospital on Thursday said she was walking and is expected to be released after a few days.

Mongolian athlete Chuluunbat Tumenbayr was earlier blown off course and landed in the car park near the venue. She was not injured.