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Flag presentation ceremony of the HKSAR delegation to the 11th National Games cum torch relay to be held on Saturday

     The flag presentation ceremony of the HKSAR delegation to the 11th National Games of the People's Republic of China cum SINOPEC Cup torch relay will be held at Kowloon Park at 10am on September 12 (Saturday). The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, will officiate at the flag presentation ceremony and light the torch. The torch relay, with five torch bearers, will be run in Kowloon Park.

     Based on the programme of the 11th National Games Organising Committee, the participating provincial cities and the two Special Administrative Regions can select five torch bearers to take part in the torch relay. The five torch bearers of the Hong Kong leg are athletes of the HKSAR delegation to the 11th National Games, namely Jeffrey Lum (swimming), Yip Pui-yin (badminton), Cynthia Lo (shooting), Ali Arif (hockey) and Cheung King-wai (cycling).

     To tie in with the spirit of the 11th National Games, "Joining the Games", the torch relay will take place in Kowloon Park which is easily accessible and has local characteristics. About 1.1 kilometres long, the relay route will start at the Kowloon Park Sports Centre, passing the park's main trail, Water Garden, Sculpture Walk and Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games Handprint Wall for Sponsors & Volunteers before getting back to the sports centre. The event will end at about 10.40am. Though the route is relatively short, the torch relay will fully manifest the symbolic meaning of supporting and participating in the Games. Members of the public are welcome to go to Kowloon Park to cheer on the torch bearers along the relay route to show their support.

     The flame of the 11th National Games was collected from the summit of Tai Shan. After the launching ceremony held in Beijing on August 16, a country-wide torch relay started on August 17 and is taking place in various provincial cities and the two Special Administrative Regions in sequence until October 15. The Hong Kong delegation brought the flame from Beijing to the territory on August 16.

     Athletes from all provinces and cities take pride in joining the National Games, the highest-level sporting event on the Mainland. About 50 delegations will take part in 33 sports of the 11th National Games to be held in Shandong between October 16 and 28.

     The Hong Kong SAR will send a 340-strong delegation, comprising 230 athletes and 110 supporting and medical personnel, to take part in 25 sports. Hong Kong athletes will gain valuable experience by taking part in the 11th National Games to prepare for other large-scale sports events, in particular the East Asian Games to be held in Hong Kong at the end of the year.

     The Hong Kong SAR sent a delegation to join the 8th National Games in 1997, and then took part in the 9th and the 10th National Games in 2001 and 2005 respectively. Hong Kong athletes performed well, scoring one gold medal in the 8th National Games, two gold, two silver and one bronze medals in the 9th National Games and one gold and three bronze medals in the 10th National Games.

Ends/Thursday, September 10, 2009


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