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Table tennis champion Kong makes open apology for drunken driving case
Latest Updated by 2006-07-27 16:30:29
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Chinese table tennis star Kong Linghui made an open apology to the public late on Wednesday after having slammed his Porche to a cab last week and been charged with drunken driving. (File photo)

Chinese table tennis star Kong Linghui made an open apology to the public late on Wednesday after having slammed his Porche to a cab last week and been charged with drunken driving.

"Days after the traffic accident seemed like years to me. I know that it's an improper conduct to drive drunken, but I had not taken it seriously before committing the accident," said the world and Olympic champion in a statement.

"It deeply touched me. I regretted so much," he added. "Fortunately, I was not driving at a high speed when the accident happened, otherwise the loss would be immeasurable and I would get much severely punished."

"I recognized that I had made a big mistake after more thoughts these days. First at all, as a citizen, I must obey the social rules and laws.

"Also, as a member of the Chinese table tennis national team, I've gotten widely concerned of and supported by many, and should have taken the responsibility of setting a good example for youngsters after receiving so many honors in my career.

"I feel really sorry to this errancy. I sincerely apologize to everybody," he said.

Kong was released soon after being detained since the sport's governing body pled to the authority for him, citing that the 30-year-old have to participate in the ongoing Table Tennis Super League of China.

But Kong, used to be regarded as an athlete holding high moral standards, preferred to take the release as an unfinished education and expressed his will of doing more commonweal work to make up for his error.

"I'll work hard and try to clear up the bad impact of my wrong doing. Please believe me and forgive me," he said.

Kong's navy-blue Porche Boxster-s slammed into a taxi around 3:30 a.m. last Friday near the Beijing Workers' Stadium and the police with the Chaoyang Traffic Bureau detained both Kong and the taxi driver.

The police said no one was injured in the accident, and soon released the grand slam winner, but Kong will still have to pay a fine of 1,800 yuan (225 U.S dollars) with his driving license suspended for six months.

Besides the public apology, Kong also made a self-criticism to his national coaches and teammates, while staff of Chinese men's national team held a discussion to seek method of tighten the disciplines and management of the side.

A "dry law" has been approved as a discipline of the table tennis national side, which prohibits players drinking in the national training camp and takes effective till the end of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Kong's drunken driving has been deemed a succeeding case following other erring figures of the highly-watched national side.

Olympic doubles champion Chen Qi, 21, has made a televised public apology after losing his cool following a defeat earlier this year and was sent spending seven days' hard labor in the fields.

Another table tennis sensation Qiu Yike was banned for a year from the national team for his late-night drinking in February.

Before the Athens Olympic Games, four national team members were removed from the roll for dating teammates and were accused of impeding preparations for the 2004 Olympics.

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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