HK quartet set sights on history at grand prix meets
Hong Kong's 4x100 metre relay team are aiming to make history and seal their place at London 2012 in the three rounds of the Asia Grand Prix this month.
Hopes are high that they can be the first Hong Kong relay team to qualify for an Olympics after the quartet of Ng Ka-fung, Tang Yik-chun, Lai Chun-hoi and Tsui Chi-ho twice broke the Hong Kong record of 39.24 seconds last month (clocking 39.15 and 39.02 at the International Invitation Relay Meet in Zhaoqing).
The qualification mark is an aggregate of the two fastest times achieved between January 2011 and mid-July 2012. Hong Kong are 17th in the standings, with the top 16 going to London - but a member of the 16th-ranked team, Lee Hee-mna of South Korea, was recently found guilty of doping at the world championships last year and their result of 38.94 at that event may be disqualified.
'We know we are close, but nothing is guaranteed at the moment,' Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association chairman Kwan Kee said. 'There is still a long way to go before the qualification closes in July. Even if we are now in the top 16, other teams may overtake us and that's why we need to get better results in the Asia Grand Prix.'
The three legs will be held in Bangkok ( on Tuesday), Kanchaburi (May 11) and Nakomratsima (May 14) in Thailand.
Kee said the quartet could crack 39 seconds provided they improved their baton exchange. 'If we can go under 39 seconds, it will give us a good chance,' he said.
The team will also take part in the Diamond League in Shanghai later this month, and the HKAAA will also host an invitation meet in June.