Hong Kong athletics officials hope to stage four domestic races in May, with the flagship Hong Kong Championships the following month, should facilities reopen in April as planned. It has been six months since the last Athletic Series 4 was held at the Wan Chai Sports Ground, where sprinter Ng Ka-fung equalled the men’s 100m Hong Kong record with a time of 10.28 seconds. As the fifth wave of the pandemic starts to ease, the 2022 Athletics Trial is eyeing two successive days on April 30 and May 1. It will then be followed by three annual series on May 7-8, May 21-22 and May 28-29. The Trial, first scheduled in early January, was scrapped when the government’s social distancing measures shut down all facilities. But Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Monday that the government planned to reopen facilities on April 21, provided the pandemic situation keeps improving. “We haven’t staged any event for a long time and the athletes are eager to return to the track and field,” Association of Athletics Affiliates chairman Kwan Kee. Hong Kong sport facing 2-week shutdown as officials tighten Covid-19 controls “If the government can reopen the facilities in April as planned, we are ready to put up four races in the following month which will provide competition opportunities as well as a build-up for our annual flagship event, the Hong Kong Athletics Championships. “After all, this is the Asian Games year and the athletes need a lot of competitions before competing in Hangzhou. Of course, we still have to seek government approval before finalising all these events.” The annual Athletic Championships is now scheduled on June 25 and 26, with the 10K Championships, the first road event of the year, slated for August 28. While many of the city’s top track and field athletes have left Hong Kong for training and competition opportunities elsewhere, Kwan hoped they would return for the annual Championships event. “This is the biggest domestic event of the year and we will work with them to see if they can be back to Hong Kong during those dates for the competition,” Kwan said. “It has been a difficult two years for our sport because of the consequences brought by the pandemic with reduced training and competition opportunities, but the Asian Games is one of the most important events for us and we must get the best preparation for the athletes.” Hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu is now in Germany after competing in the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, along with two men’s counterparts Cheung Wang-fung and Mui Ching-yeung, while long jumper Chan Ming-tai is in France. Sprinter Ng Ka-fung is currently in Shenzhen where he is training with Asia’s fastest man Su Bingtian. Distance runner Wong Wan-chun is in Shanghai after competing in last year’s National Games in Shaanxi while race walker Jessica Ching Siu-nga is training in Japan.