athlete of the week
Name Chung Man-kin
School Wah Yan College, Kowloon
Grade Form Six
Sport Athletics, football
Man-kin, 18, is an 800 metres runner for Citizen Athletic Association. Last June, he attained a personal best time of 1:57.69 in the 800m in the Xtep Hong Kong Athletics League to become the second-ranked junior runner and qualify for the Hong Kong team for the first time. He then represented Hong Kong at the Asian Inter-City Athletics Meet 2011 in Taipei, coming seventh in the men's junior race.
In the last school year, he captained both the athletics and football teams of his school. This year, he leads the school's cross-country team. In the 2010/11 and 2011/12 Inter-school Athletics Championships, Man-kin won a silver medal in the A-grade boys' 800m. He was also the gold and silver medallist in the boys' A2-grade 800m and 1,500m at the Hong Kong Junior Age Group Athletic Meet 2010.
'I had been in second place in the junior ranking since late 2010. The top-ranked senior and top-ranked junior runner can enter the Hong Kong team together, but if a runner holds both junior and senior top rankings at the same time, the second-placed runner in the junior ranking will also qualify. I need to thank junior top-ranked runner Lau Wai-ngai - I was not running as fast as him, but he overtook the senior number one during the qualification period and that gave me a chance.
'My biggest rival was Jimmy Lee Cho-wai. He was injured in early 2011 but he had a speedy recovery, and he was in the junior number three position, aiming to overtake me. In the last qualifying event in June, the 800m race was divided into three groups. Jimmy ran his personal best, 1:58.83, in the second group race, but I surprised everybody at the sports ground by clocking
1:57.69. That meant I could qualify for the Hong Kong team. My coach and I couldn't believe it, as my personal best was around two minutes. That was a miracle.'
From his coach
'Man-kin is filled with resolve. He stopped training after the inter-school race to prepare for the DSE exams but I expect him to recover his form by the end of 2012. In the past two years, he has trained with other top runners like Yuen Ho-yin and Lo Chun-bong and the peer training was obviously beneficial. I was amazed to see how he grabbed the last opportunity in 2011 to enter the Hong Kong team,' says Cheuk Kin-san, coach of Citizen.
'My target is to reach another peak in 2013 and break the Hong Kong junior record for the 800m [1:54.54] held by Leung Tat-wai since 1997,' says Man-kin.