Hong Kong Sevens 2024: party starts as rugby fans arrive from around the world

Hong Kong Sevens 2024: party starts as rugby fans arrive from around the world

The party is back on in full swing for rugby fans ahead of this weekend’s sell-out Hong Kong Sevens with spectators descending on the city from around the world, although bar operators have said business is still far from pre-Covid levels.

Pubs and bars in Wan Chai were brimming on Thursday with decreasingly sober patrons as the night went on. A number of them were set to attend the first day of the Sevens tournament at the 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium in Causeway Bay on Friday.

Among those arriving from overseas were Fijians Asena Weleilakeba and Mere Samoave, who landed in the city on Wednesday and would be staying for a week.

Both were visiting for the first time, and had come especially for the hotly anticipated Sevens, but would also “enjoy life in Hong Kong, go sightseeing and explore the city”, Samoave said.

“I can’t even explain, it’s awesome,” added Weleilakeba, when asked about her thoughts on Hong Kong so far.

First-time visitors Mere Samoave (left) and Asena Weleilakeba are excited to be in Hong Kong. Photo: May Tse

They also said they looked forward to rooting for their country’s team, perennial favourites at the Hong Kong Sevens.

This edition of the rugby extravaganza, which runs until Sunday, is expected to be the final one at Hong Kong Stadium, the venue for the Sevens since 1982. Next year, it is set to move across Victoria Harbour to a new home at the newly built Kai Tak Sports Park.

Andre Ballard, who lived in Hong Kong from 1997 to 2006 but now works in Saudi Arabia, said he did not expect the Sevens to be the same after the move.

“I worked on a construction project here at Kai Tak. It’s in the middle of nowhere,” he said. “Maybe it’ll still be a good thing, but we’ll miss the old venue.”

Hong Kong Sevens 2024: schedule, draw, TV, star players, entertainment, tickets

The Briton had returned to the city for the first time since the pandemic to watch the Sevens and visit friends.

“I haven’t had an excuse to come back for a long time, so this was an excuse.”

The Sevens tournament is one of about

…. to be continued
Read full article at the Original Source
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source : SCMP.com – https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/society/article/3257886/hong-kong-sevens-2024-party-starts-rugby-fans-arrive-around-world?utm_source=rss_feed