Olympic cyclist not impressed with badminton in velodrome

May 05, 2015 15:04
Olympian Sarah Lee (inset, top) has taken to Facebook to complain about what she says is a highly distracting training environment in the Hong Kong Velodrome. Photos: Xinhua, Facebook, HK government

Who needs badminton on a cycling track?

Apparently, Hong Kong people do, judging by how competitive cyclists and badminton players are forced to share training facilities.

That prompted cycling Olympian Sarah Lee to bring the matter to her Facebook fans, hoping her post will reach the concerned authorities.

Lee, who is training for next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, uploaded a picture taken inside the Hong Kong Velodrome in Tseung Kwan O, where a group of people were playing badminton.

Lee said she found the arrangement highly distracting, Apple Daily reported Tuesday.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) cited a clash of schedules for the arrangement after the Hong Kong cycling team decided to add training sessions.

The velodrome, which opened in April 2014, has a 250-meter cycling track and stands for 3,000 spectators.

The middle of the track is a multi-purpose area the size of two basketball courts which is open for public use. They have been used for volleyball and badminton.

Last month, the LCSD decided that the Velodrome will be used exclusively by the Hong Kong cycling team after numerous complaints from its members.

The cyclists, whose training methods are secret, complained that people using the public facilities in the velodrome were taking photos of the team and posting them on social media.

On Monday, Lee found that the middle of the velodrome's public area had been blocked off from the cycling track by a net.

“You can understand why there are subdivided flats in our industrial buildings just by a looking at our training facility,” she said, referring to a social phenomenon in which people are crammed into tiny dwellings hacked out of subdivided industrial space.

The HK$1.13 billion velodrome was forced to close just six months after opening for remedial work after public criticism about sloppy construction.

The work took three months at a cost of HK$4.2 million.

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