The annual cross-harbor race was held on Sunday morning with a total of 2,943 swimmers participating.
Organized by the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association (HKASA) and sponsored by New World Development Co. Ltd., the event was the seventh since its revival in 2011, Apple Daily reports.
Unlike in previous races, which covered a 1.5-kilometer route between Lei Yue Mun in east Kowloon and Quarry Bay on east Hong Kong Island, Sunday’s event started from the Tsim Sha Tsui Public Pier and ended at the Wan Chai Golden Bauhinia Square Public Pier, or half a kilometer shorter.
Suny Poon Ching-leung, a Hong Kong swimming team member, topped the international category. He said the swim was tranquil but there were undercurrents and swirls halfway through. He described the scene at the starting line as chaotic and the water quality acceptable.
Nikita Lam Pac-tung, 17, finished first in the 17 to 34 age group of the women’s open category.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, who also took part in the race, said he could smell gasoline in the water and suspected it might have come from the 80 lifeboats arranged by the organizers.
HKASA chairman Ronnie Wong Man-chiu, said 13 people suffered injuries during the race. Ten had abrasions and three suffered cramps. None of them needed to be hospitalized.
Wong said HKASA will raise the number of participants next year and use the same route as this year, pending discussions with the government.
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