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Organizer: attendance rate at 80% for equestrian Olympics
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19:21, August 16, 2008

The overall attendance rate for the equestrian events of the Beijing Olympics so far has been at around 80 percent, said Lam Woon-kwong, chief executive officer of the Equestrian Events Company, the event organizer.

Speaking on the sidelines of a local university event, Lam said the Olympic equestrian events had been proceeding "in a sound manner," although a few of the spectators reportedly left earlier at dressage competitions.

The equestrian events, running in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from Aug. 9 to Aug. 21, have been well received in spite of the local heat and humidity, a source of concerns prior to the Games. Riders and horses had found it just fine.

The organizers had built air-conditioned stables, in addition to scheduling the competitions at dawns and in evenings so as to avoid the heat during day time.

Lam said that the organizers and police had remained on alert and that security work for the equestrian Olympics had won praises from VIP guests and others.

The organizers will carry on with the efficiency in security work, he added.

The eventing competitions had ended successfully and, the dressage was going on and the show jumping began on Friday evening, with three rider and horse combinations from Hong Kong, China making a historic debut at the equestrian Olympics.

Patrick Lam, one of the Hong Kong riders, finished with a clear round at the first individual jumping qualifier on Friday, drawing thick applause in the end.

The local audience had shown keen interests as well as good manners at the venues, and fans from Switzerland, Japan, the United States, among others, were there too, hurrahing for their riders.

Having grown up in a racing culture, members of the local public were enthusiastic to watch the equestrian Olympics, although some found it hard to read and, therefore, boring. Others were seen carrying radios to listen to the explanations aired live.

The riders and horses competing at the Olympics had been able to give "world-class performances," Princess Haya of Jordan, president of the International Equestrian Federation, said earlier this week after watching the eventing competitions.

Lam Woon-kwong said he was looking forward to Patrick Lam carrying on with excellence to make the local residents feel proud when watching him compete.

Source: Xinhua

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