HONG KONG: Bodybuilding will be kicked out of the 2009 East Asian Games (EAG) in Hong Kong because there is no consensus concerning the appointment of international technical officials and judges between international governing agencies.
A spokesman for the East Asian Games Company said the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness and the Asian Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation failed to agree on issues of standards.
The spokesman said it would be inappropriate to organize Bodybuilding events without a list of competent technical delegates and judges, jointly recognized by the two bodies.
Competition events could be challenged by various stakeholders at the end of the games, the spokesman said.
Bodybuilding has not been included in competitions at previous EAG.
The spokesman stressed that the coming games in Hong Kong will be the largest EAG in history, based on the number of events and on the number of athletes, despite the exclusion of bodybuilding. The games will include around 1,700 competitions in 22 sports, with over 3,000 athletes from nine countries and regions, vying for 262 gold medals.
"Preparation work for the Games is in good progress and on schedule," the spokesman said.
A government spokesman said it respected the decision of the organizer.
"Bodybuilding has not been held in previous EAGs and we regret that bodybuilding athletes will not be able to participate in this international event," the spokesman said.
He added that the government will continue to provide support and facilitation to the organization of the game.
"We are confident that the games to be held in December will be successfully organized according to the scheduled plan," the spokesman said.
Timothy Fok, the chairman of the games organizing committee, said the cancellation will affect games preparations because Hong Kong bodybuilding is ranked high in Asia.
Fok urged bodybuilding athletes not to give up, suggesting they can participate in other competitions. Hong Kong bodybuilding athlete Heidi Yu said she is disappointed because Hong Kong is the host city for the games, and turning in an outstanding performance at the games has been one of her dreams.
Hong Kong originally planned to send eight male and eight female bodybuilders to the games.
(HK Edition 07/22/2009 page1)