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Athletes send warm invitations to 2025 Games in Greater Bay Area

By SHI FUTIAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-09-25 08:12
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Lui Lai-yiu of Hong Kong competes in a 100m hurdles heat during the 14th National Games at Xi'an Olympic Sports Center on Tuesday. Lui failed to advance but said she was still thrilled to represent the special administrative region at the showpiece. WEI XIAOHAO/CHINA DAILY

Next episode of national sports event to be co-hosted by Guangdong, HK, Macao

Members of the Hong Kong and Macao delegations at the ongoing 14th National Games have received the warmest welcome in Shaanxi province, and they have also sent sincere invitations to athletes across the nation to the next edition of the Games in the Greater Bay Area in 2025.

"We welcome athletes from across China to come to the Greater Bay Area in 2025, and we will stage a fantastic National Games for China and the world," Cheng King-leung, acting director of the Hong Kong delegation, told Xinhua News Agency.

"The Greater Bay Area is full of opportunities. The next National Games will only unite us closer together, which will also boost the development of the Greater Bay Area."

"I was thrilled to know that we are going to co-host the next National Games. This year the National Games are being staged in Shaanxi province, which is the first station of the Belt and Road Initiative. Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao are like the southern gate of our nation."

Guangdong province, and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions will co-host the 15th National Games in 2025.

"There are many big cities in China that want to host the National Games, so this is a gift that our country has given to us," said Nichols Fong, director of Macau Sports Press Association.

"Being able to host the next National Games is great news not only to Macao's sports community. Macao citizens are all excited. We all believe the Games will boost the development of Macao in terms of sport, culture and tourism. This is a great opportunity."

The Hong Kong delegation, which has participated in the National Games seven times since 1997, boasts 169 athletes in 18 sports this year, while Macao's delegation has 102 athletes competing in 20 sports in Shaanxi province.

"The organization of this year's National Games is very comprehensive and professional, which is a valuable experience for the organizers of the next National Games to learn from," said Pun Weng-kun, deputy director of the Macao delegation.

"For example, the pandemic-prevention regulations are especially impressive. All participants need to have regular COVID-19 tests and health checks.

"The bio-secure bubble at the National Games is really reassuring. We have absolute confidence in our health and safety."

Macao's veteran triathlete Hoi Long has competed in four National Games. She told China Daily that each Games was a great chance for communication between Macao athletes and their counterparts from the Chinese mainland. She believed the next Games will greatly boost the development of the Greater Bay Area.

"The next National Games will facilitate the growth of the Greater Bay Area in terms of economy and sports. This is a huge encouragement for Macao's athletes. It's a rare chance for us to compete at such a high level event at home," said Hoi.

"We already have close cooperation with the Chinese mainland. The General Administration of Sport of China has given us huge support. For instance, they have sent coaches to help Macao athletes in sports like table tennis, diving and martial arts.

"Also, many sports experts from the Chinese mainland have come to Macao to give lectures and hold discussions."

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