Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 4 News List

China opts out of deaf swimming event in Taoyuan

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

China's deaf swimming team withdrew from the 2007 World Deaf Swimming Championships starting today in Taoyuan without providing a reason, members of the 21st Summer Deaflympics organizing committee said yesterday.

China had agreed to participate in the competition, which runs through Thursday at the National College of Physical Education and Sports as a warm-up event for the 2009 Summer Deaflympics hosted by Taipei.

However, three weeks ago, the team informed the organizing committee about its decision to withdraw from the event but declined to give a reason, Yeh Kung-ting (葉公鼎), director of the committee told reporters yesterday.

"Their move came as a surprise, but it's not the first time China has abruptly dropped out of sports events hosted by Taiwan," Yeh said.

Yeh said that, in keeping with the regulations, each of the eight members of China's team will be fined US$20 for dropping out of the competition. The committee, meanwhile, will have to rearrange the schedule of the competition.

Although China withdrew from the swimming event, Yeh said it promised to participate in the Deaflympics in 2009.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) presided over a ceremony yesterday to welcome swimmers from 24 countries including the US, Japan, Sweden and South Africa. He declined to comment on China's withdrawal.

The 20-member Taiwanese team has set a target of winning at least three gold medals.

For more information on the event, visit the web site at:

w2007.ncpes.edu.tw

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