A triathlon without cycling?
Organizers settled for a watered down version of the contest thanks to residents of a luxury enclave near the venue, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
The Transport Department agreed with the residents of Providence Bay, a high-end residential complex in Hong Kong’s Tai Po district, that a planned road closure for the cycling race would be too much of an inconvenience.
Cycling is part of the multi-event marathon which includes swimming and running.
The competition has been organized by the Hong Kong Triathlon Association since 2008 and held near Science Park in Shatin and Pak Shek Kok in Tai Po.
However, on Sunday, the organizers failed to get approval from the Transport Department to secure the cycling route from 6 a.m. until noon, forcing them to drop the race.
A female competitor, surnamed Cheng, said she wondered how the competition ended up being scaled back after it was advertised as a triathlon on the association’s online registration page.
She accused the Transport Department of caving to the residents when they could have allowed a small inconvenience.
She said the six-hour road closure would not have curtailed their movement all that much.
A Transport Department spokesman said there have been similar complaints about road closures for sporting events in the past year.
An application for road closure was filed in January by the triathlon organizers and residents of the complex objected to it after consultations among themselves and with the department, he said.
He did not say how many complaints were received.
Cheung Hok-ming, chairman of the Tai Po district council, said he has not heard of any such complaints, adding the residents could have given the other side some consideration.
The Hong Kong Triathlon Association said it is looking for a new venue.
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