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Track Cycling World Cup leg to go ahead in Hong Kong this weekend

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – The track cycling World Cup leg in Hong Kong this weekend will go ahead as planned after a lull in violence across the city, which has been racked by anti-government protests for the past six months, the South China Morning Post has reported.

The event is to be held at the Hong Kong Velodrome in Tseung Kwan O in the New Territories from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

“We did have some worries before like many other event organisers in Hong Kong, but the World Cup will definitely go ahead now as the overall situation seems to be improving,” Hong Kong Cycling Association Chairman Leung Hung-tak told.

“Some of our ticket sales have not been that encouraging, possibly due to the social unrest,” he was quoted as saying.

Violent clashes in the Chinese-ruled city have eased since pro-democracy parties won a resounding victory in local elections this week after residents turned out in record numbers to vote.

“After the elections on Sunday, it seems the situation is getting better and we hope it can continue to improve,” Leung added. “We have prepared some contingency plans but we don’t think we have to use them.”

The track cycling World Cup is part of the qualifying campaign for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and comprises six rounds, the first of which was held in Minsk from Nov. 1-3.

The Hong Kong leg is the third round of the series, which concludes in Milton, Canada on Jan. 26 next year.

A number of high-profile Hong Kong sporting events have been either postponed or cancelled due to violence in the city.

The Hong Kong Open golf tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours and was to be held from Nov. 29-Dec. 1, was postponed because of the social unrest.

The Hong Kong Tennis Open and Hong Kong Open squash championships were also cancelled last month.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)