Hong Kong's 'queen hurdler', 23, reveals she was molested by her former coach as a schoolgirl in emotional birthday post

  • Asian champion Lui Laiyiu made the allegation on social media on Wednesday
  • The athlete claimed she was sexually assaulted when she was about 13 years old?
  • Her middle school condemned the suspect and said they would stop hiring him
  • The Chief Executive of Hong Kong has asked the police to investigate the matter?

A champion hurdler from Hong Kong has accused her former coach of sexually assaulting her when she was a middle school student.

Lui Laiyiu revealed on November 29 - the day when she turned 23 - that the coach molested her in his home when she was around 13 years old.

Ms Lui, who is billed as the 'queen hurdler of Hong Kong', said she was inspired by American Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, who in October revealed that she had been sexually abused by her former gymnastics doctor for seven years.

She said by turning herself from a victim to a survivor of sexual assault, she was giving herself a birthday gift.

The Chief Executive of Hong Kong said she would handle the matter seriously and has asked the police to investigate the allegation.?

Lui Laiyiu, a hurdler from Hong Kong, revealed this week that she was sexually assaulted by a former coach in her middle school
Ms Lui, who just turned 23, is an Asian champion

Lui Laiyiu (pictured), a hurdler from Hong Kong, has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a former coach in her middle school. Ms Lui, who just turned 23, is an Asian champion

Ms Lui (pictured) won the gold medal of the women's 60 metres hurdles during the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in September

Ms Lui (pictured) won the gold medal of the women's 60 metres hurdles during the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in September

The Hong Kong athlete uploaded the post onto her Facebook account under the?#MeToo hashtag, a recent social media campaign started by American actress Alyssa Milano to urge women to speak up about surviving sexual assault.

Ms Lui, an?Asian champion, referred to the assaulter as 'coach Y', who trained her about a decade ago. She said that?'coach Y' had trained her with his whole heart, and she trusted and respected him.

The athlete claimed that one Saturday, 'coach Y' called her and offered to give her a muscle massage.

'A massage, from an athlete's point of view, is absolutely normal,' Ms Lui wrote.

The athlete made the sexual assault allegation in a Facebook post (above) on her 23rd birthday?

The athlete made the sexual assault allegation in a Facebook post (above) on her 23rd birthday?

The 23-year-old hurdler said by writing about the matter she had turned herself from a victim of sexual assault to a survivor
Ms Lui said by making the matter public she was giving herself a birthday gift

The 23-year-old hurdler said by writing about the matter she had turned herself from a victim of sexual assault to a survivor, and by doing so she was giving herself a birthday gift

The two allegedly met at their school's playground, but 'coach Y' soon suggested Ms Lui go home with him.

At the coach's home, the man was said to tell Ms Lui to lie on his bed so he could 'massage' her. He then took off her trousers and underpants and started touching her privates.

Ms Lui said after the incident, she and 'coach Y' still stayed in touch. She said she even celebrated birthday for him every year because, as she wrote, 'humans are a contradictory animal'.

However, she admitted that she felt physically resistant to staying close to the coach whenever she saw him; and after she grew up when she bumped into him, she 'just wanted to run away'.??

Ms Lui also said she had kept the matter in secret until about two years ago when she revealed it to a close friend.

Ms Lui (left) is pictured with another athlete from Hong Kong in uniform. Ms Lui's club has condemned the assaulter after she revealed details of the sexual assault
Ms Lui took home the gold medal of the women's 60 metres with a time of 8.41 seconds

Ms Lui's club has condemned the assaulter while her?alma mater,?Pui Ching Middle School said they would stop hiring the suspected assaulter.?Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, said she would handle the matter seriously. Ms Lui is pictured with other athletes above

Ms Lui said she was inspired by American Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney (pictured), who in October made a sexual abuse allegation against her former gymnastics doctor

Ms Lui said she was inspired by American Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney (pictured), who in October made a sexual abuse allegation against her former gymnastics doctor

Ms Lui won the gold medal of the women's 60 metres hurdles during the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in September.

She concluded that she had three motivations in revealing the matter.?

The first?was to?raise the public awareness of sexual assault against children; the second was to encourage more victims to speak out; and the third one was to tell people that sex-related topics are not 'embarrassing', 'shameful' and 'undiscussable' in public.

She also told her family not to feel guilty: 'It was not the fault of me, my parents, or even the school. It was the fault of the person who assaulted me.?

'As a victim, I don't feel ashamed. I don't want you to feel sad about me. I would want you to applaud my courage.'??

Ms Lui competes at the Indoor Athletics competition during the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Indoor Athletics Arena in Ashgabat Olympic Complex on September 18, 2017

Ms Lui competes at the Indoor Athletics competition during the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games at Indoor Athletics Arena in Ashgabat Olympic Complex on September 18, 2017

Ms Lui poses with her gold medal at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat

Ms Lui poses with her gold medal at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat

Ms Lui's post has drawn much attention in Hong Kong, with relevant organisations showing her?an outpouring of support.

Pui Ching Middle School, Ms Lui's?alma mater, said it was 'deeply saddened' by Ms Lui's experience.

In a statement released on November 30, the school condemned the assaulter and praised Ms Lui's bravery. It also said that three weeks before Ms Lui had told them that she would reveal the matter to the public.

Speaking to local media, the school's deputy headmaster Cheng Kingleung said the coach was an external track and field coach, and that the school would terminate his contract.

Mr Cheng urged the society to pay attention to sexual assault against children.

Ms Lui's club, Watsons Athletic Club, has also expressed support and respect to Ms Lui. The club said it has 'zero tolerance' of any sexual crimes.?

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, has asked the police to investigate the allegation.

Ms Lam told the local press: 'I feel sad about the matter, but for Laiyiu's courage, I have great admiration.'

Ms Lam added she would 'deal with the matter seriously'.??

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