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SHA in Jinan to support HK athletes at the 11th National Games (with photos)

The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, arrived in Jinan, Shandong, this afternoon (October 15) to attend the opening ceremony of the 11th National Games and show his support for the Hong Kong athletes.

Mr Tsang, in his capacity as the head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) delegation to the 11th National Games, attended the 11th National Games welcome reception right after his arrival in Jinan. He also visited and cheered up the Hong Kong athletes at the Athletes' Village in the evening.

He will attend the heads of delegations meeting for the 11th National Games tomorrow morning and attend the opening ceremony of the 11th National Games at Jinan Olympic Sports Centre in the evening.

The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services and deputy head of the HKSAR delegation to the 11th National Games, Mrs Betty Fung; Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs and member of the Organising Committee of the HKSAR delegation to the 11th National Games, Mr Jonathan Mckinley, as well as Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Vincent Liu, will also depart for Jinan tomorrow to attend the opening ceremony of the Games and to show their support for the Hong Kong athletes.

On October 17, they will visit the Hong Kong athletes, attend the cycling events, and tour an exhibition highlighting the sports achievements of the Mainland over the last 60 years.

"The 11th National Games, a high standard sports event, is indeed a timely opportunity for Hong Kong's athletes to exchange skills and experience with Mainland elite athletes so as to prepare themselves for the East Asian Games to be held at the end of the year," Mr Tsang said.

"I am confident that the Hong Kong athletes will do their best in the Games," he added.

Held every four years, the National Games are the highest level and the biggest multi-sport event on the Mainland. The Games this year are held in Jinan, Shandong, from October 16 to 28.

About 230 Hong Kong athletes will take part in 25 sports events of the 11th National Games, comprising swimming, water polo, athletics, badminton, baseball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, sailing, windsurfing, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, weightlifting, wushu (taolu), short track speed skating and figure skating.

The Hong Kong team won one gold and three bronze medals at the 10th National Games held in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, in 2005.

Ends/Thursday, October 15, 2009

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