The worsening Covid outbreak has prompted the government to tighten the rules for large-scale sports events, which led to the cancellation of a 10-kilometre running event and the potential postponement or cancellation of the cross-harbour swim.
In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Hong Kong Association of Athletics Affiliates said that its “Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong 10k Championships”, scheduled to take part in Tin Shui Wai on August 28, will now be cancelled.
It said the decision was made after authorities informed it that the number of participants had to be greatly reduced in light of the epidemic situation.
The association said it had fully complied with various anti-epidemic measures, including requiring all of its 1,500 runners to be inoculated, having them tested before the race, as well as arranging different groups to start at different slots.
It apologised to runners for the cancellation, adding that their application fees will be fully refunded.
Meanwhile, the organiser of the cross-harbour swim also said it was told to slash the number of participants, including swimmers and staff, to 500.
The chairman of the Hong Kong China Swimming Association, Ronnie Wong, said that means only about 300 to 400 swimmers will be able to take part in the event scheduled for October.
He said the association had proposed letting the 2,000 swimmers start in batches, but this was rejected.
He added that if the contest is pushed back for too long, the weather will get too cold.
Wong said he hopes to hold further talks with the government to explore other options than cancelling the event.