The Hong Kong police have overturned their ban on a ten-kilometre run in Tin Shui Wai which is set to be held on Sunday, October 27.
The Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong 10K Challenge, organised annually by the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA), was originally issued a notice of objection from the police, according to a Facebook post by the HKAAA on Wednesday night.
The 6,000-participant race has been held annually since 2003 on Tin Ying Road in Tin Shui Wai.
The HKAAA said it has decided to file an appeal after deliberation with stakeholders. “We hope the competition can carry on as planned,” it said earlier.
The Facebook post did not reveal the reason for the original ban, but by Thursday night, the association said the ban had been overturned. HKFP has reached out to the police for comment.
Previously, organisers of the Sun Hung Kai Properties Hong Kong Cyclothon and the New World Harbour Race cancelled their sports events after considering the recent social situation and the resulting uncertainties.
As the city entered its 19th week of protest and unrest, triggered by an ill-fated extradition bill, protesters have continued to demand accountability for alleged police brutality, amnesty for those arrested, universal suffrage and a halt to the characterisation of protests as “riots.”
Lawmaker Au Nok-hin, vice-chair of the legislature’s Panel on Home Affairs, said the police should not link recent social events to sports.
“Residents would only feel it is unreasonable for the police to ban event with crowds,” he said.
He said that, if the HKAAA fails in its appeal, it may cause problems for the association’s funding and harm the promotion of local sports.
Tin Shui Wai district councillor Zachary Wong told Apple Daily that he did not see any risk with regards to the competition, since the HKAAA would arrange stewards and the event would only be held between 8am and 10am: “The government could be creating an illusion that Hong Kong has no more sports, [and people] should blame protesters,” Wong said.
He added that he was concerned over whether another ten-kilometre race in December and the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon next February would be cancelled as well.
A police spokesperson said any race on a road must apply for a road event permit. They said a permit will be issued after considering and analysing various factors.
“The organiser of the event has promised that there will be adequate staff members working to ensure the track and the surrounding area will be in a suitable condition for the race, and there will be adequate stewards along the track to provide assistance to ensure smooth traffic,” the spokesperson said.
The police received relevant documents for the 10k race’s application in May.
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