Asian Games: Paragliding ‘safer than’ motorbiking

AFP, JAKARTA

Sat, Sep 01, 2018 - Page 16

The head of the regional paragliding association yesterday said that the sport is safe after its Asian Games debut — and that riding a motorbike in Jakarta is more dangerous.

Three crashes marred the competition at the Games in Indonesia, with at least two athletes helicoptered to a hospital after plunging to the ground.

Paragliding’s safety has been in focus since the death of a Hong Kong flier in July, but Thapar brushed off any concerns.

“Paragliding is safer than riding a motorbike in Jakarta,” Air Sport Federation of Asia secretary-general Sanjay Thapar told journalists, referring to the Indonesian capital’s notoriously heavy traffic.

China’s Wang Jianwei broke a leg and Afghan competitor Lida Hozoori sustained spinal injuries after falling 15m, according to emergency services.

A Japanese athlete was also hurt in a fall.

Federation officials, who hope the sport will be contested at the next Asian Games and even at the Olympics, said all three fliers have recovered from their injuries.

Paragliding involves athletes taking off from a hillside and performing maneuvers. More than 100 competitors took part in the event in the countryside near Jakarta.