Law makes all the right moves
Watching local singer and film star Nicholas Tse Ting-fung's martial arts action on TV proved to be the inspiration for a new judo champion. 'I thought the judo athletes looked really cool. That was the reason why I started doing the sport seven years ago,' said 18-year-old Law Wing-kin.
Wing-kin won a gold medal in the Bank of China (Hong Kong) 55th Festival of Sport Hong Kong Junior Judo Championships 2012 on Sunday.
The city's largest youth tournament was organised by the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, and took place at Kwun Chung Sports Centre in Jordan.
This year's competition attracted nearly 600 judokas aged 20 or under.
Law, representing Tsuen Wan JPC, won all four of his bouts in the under 66kg category. He then defeated Tang Kwan-kin in the final.
This year, so more teenagers could compete, the Judo Association of Hong Kong lowered the required level for applicants from orange belt (4th kyu) to yellow belt, which is one level above the white-belt beginner's level.
Law said he was nervous on the day. 'Every time I join a competition, I set a gold medal as my goal,' he said.
'But these matches were not very tough, except for the last one against Tang Kwan-kin.'
Neither player scored a clean throw in the final, but a collective decision made by the three referees awarded the match to Law, as he was more active and made more attempts to attack.
Law, a second-year human resources management student at the Institute of Vocational Education in Tsing Yi, holds a brown belt and trains with the Great Eastern Judo Union.
He was recruited to join the Hong Kong senior team two years ago. Now his sports idol is no longer Tse, but his senior teammate Cheung Chi-yip, who qualified for this year's Olympic Games.
Cheung has already represented Hong Kong at the Asian Games.
'Chi-yip's success brought me hope that one day I can achieve the same goal,' Law said.
'We train together with the national squad and sometimes I have the opportunity to practise with him. He never said he wanted to qualify for the London Games, but from his very serious and diligent attitude, you could tell he wanted to achieve more.'
According to the judo association, the last and only time a judo athlete from Hong Kong qualified for the Olympic Games was in 1996.
Law admitted that, although he won a gold medal on Sunday, he did not always put his full effort into the sport.
'I sometimes don't attend all my training sessions because of my studies and exams,' he said. 'But Chi-yip has inspired me and I am now more devoted to the sport. I will do my best not to miss training in the future.'
Law's favourite move is called the seoi nage. This is a shoulder throw which has often helped him win a match. If the move is successful, it results in the opponent being thrown on the ground, with their whole body touching the competition mat.