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HK to get facilities ready before Games despite short notice
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Lam Woon-kwong, president of Olympic Equestrian Company said on Tuesday that the limited time was the biggest challenge for Hong Kong to host the Olympic equestrian events, but expressed confidence that Hong Kong will be ready by August.

Lam, who came into the office in March 2006, welcomed a group of journalists from Beijing in the company.

During the interview, Lam said Hong Kong had very short time to prepare as it was not until July 2005 when Beijing, which is hosting the 2008 Olympics, decided to shift the equestrian events to Hong Kong because of quarantine difficulties in the Chinese capital.

John P. Ridley, business manager of Olympics Project from the Hong Kong Jockey Club echoed Lam by saying that they had only one week to prepare the proposal and two years to build the venues.

Nevertheless, Hong Kong had made great achievements in a fast track. Both the Sha Tin core venue for dressage and jumping and the Beas Rivers venue for the cross-country competition of eventing were appreciated a lot in the Olympic test event last year.

According to Ridley, the Hong Kong Jockey Club hired a group of experts whom they believed to be the best ones in the world for designing and building the two venues, and they were really satisfied by the comments that the 1.2-billion-Hong Kong-dollars venues were "built by horsemen for horsemen" from the participants of last year's test event.

The Sha Tin core venue (Sha Tin) had been completed and handed over to the Olympic Equestrian Company two weeks ago and so was going to be the Beas Rivers venue in the end of July.

Lam said the Company responsible for the organization of the Olympic equestrian events would ensure the venues to be used in full extent.

(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2008)

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