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IOC (International Olympic Committee)

World Beach Games: Timothy Fok tells government to act fast and support Hong Kong’s bid for 2021 event

  • Olympic chief says other countries may challenge the city for the right to stage the 2021 Games
  • He was impressed by Sanya’s preparations for the 2020 Asian Beach Games
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2018, 3:31am

Olympic chief Timothy Fok Tsun-ting urged the Hong Kong government to act fast in supporting the city’s bid for the 2021 World Beach Games, warning that others may also join the fray.

The Hong Kong Olympic Committee president recently visited Sanya in Hainan province with the city set to stage the 2020 Asian Beach Games.

“Their preparation work is very impressive and if they can stage the Asian Beach Games, they can also go for the World Beach Games,” said Fok at the committee’s annual general meeting at Olympic House on Tuesday. “The ANOC has yet to announce a deadline for the bid but we need government commitment before we can submit it as this will be the game for all Hong Kong people and not only for an organisation.

“Hong Kong is the Asian sports capital and the World Beach Games, which feature 208 nations, definitely fit the city’s name.”

The ANOC, Association of National Olympic Committees, is the organiser of the World Beach Games and Fok will be representing ANOC as the coordination committee chairman for the 2019 San Diego World Beach Games.

“The committee will be meeting next month and I will try to present to other members on Hong Kong’s plan for the 2021 Games. Once we have had the government support, we can talk about an official bid as the Hong Kong sports community is already in full support [of staging the games],” he said.

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Fok said the government had already requested information on the World Beach Games and hoped a decision could be reached in time to submit a bid some time next year.

The Olympic chief, meanwhile, will stay for another term of four years as president after he was re-elected uncontested. Other office bearers also won the re-election, including the eight vice-presidents and the honorary secretary general, Ronnie Wong Man-chiu.

Former rower Ho Kim-fai won her battle in the deputy honorary secretary general election, replacing Leung Mee-lee as one of three officials. The two others, Wong Po-kee of judo and Edgar Yang Joe-tsi of shooting, were both re-elected.

Ho, who only beat Leung by two votes, said she wanted to hear more voices from youngsters and attract them to sports.

“We all know the importance of sport to health but we need to do more to attract the young generation, not only prepare them to become elite athletes but also at participation level,” she said.

Ho, who also wanted to bring new ideas and thinking to the committee, lost the battle in the vice-president’s election four years ago. The Olympic Committee has long been under fire for its “closed door election”.