Cross Harbour Race 2022 organisers expecting the government to green light event this week
- Proposed plan for 1,500 entries will see groups of 500 swimmers start at a time, to minimise chances of Covid-19 infection
- ‘We see little reason not to have it this year after meeting all of the government’s anti-epidemic measures,’ says Hong Kong swimming chief
Cross Harbour Race organisers are confident the city’s flagship swimming event will be given the green light to go ahead by the government this week.
With positive Covid-19 cases falling again, Hong Kong Swimming Association president Ronnie Wong Man-chiu remained upbeat the race can go ahead on October 23.
“We have adjusted our plan to meet the government’s requests, and as far as we understand the plan is now with the Chief Secretary for approval,” Wong said.
“Also, the pandemic situation is getting a bit better with a gradual reduction of the number of cases in recent days – we hope this can help too.
“The Harbour Race is a popular event in the community, an event that can help boost the image of Hong Kong sports. We see little reason not to have it this year after meeting all of the government’s anti-epidemic measures.”
Organisers had planned to increase the number of entries to 2,000 from last year’s 1,500, but scrapped the idea after they were told three weeks ago that a maximum of 500 people – including staff – would be allowed.
They then modified their plans, proposing to start the race in separate groups of 500 swimmers each to meet the requirements. Each group will start once the previous group has almost reached the finish line, to minimise the chances of infection.
All participants must obtain a vaccine pass and return a negative Covid-19 test within 48 hours of race day, in line with the government’s anti-epidemic measures.
“Our total entries remain the same as last year, and we can also meet other safety requirements. We should be allowed to start the race,” said Wong.
Last week, the government said it would soon decide if a number of upcoming sporting events will be allowed to go ahead, including the Hong Kong Marathon – the largest sporting event in Hong Kong, with an entry list of 25,000 this year.
Football officials are also awaiting the government’s approval for their international friendly match against visiting Myanmar, slated for next week.
The 2022 Harbour Race will start at Golden Bauhinia Square on Wan Chai Pier, with the finish at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui – the same route used last year.