Rowing their way to victory

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 May, 2012, 12:00am


Pull and stretch, pull and stretch, everybody wants to stay on track. At this year's Inter-school Indoor Rowing Championships at Harbour Road Sports Centre last Friday and Saturday, more than 1,000 rowers from 48 secondary schools battled it out for medals, team titles and records.

The races were intense and Young Post witnessed a new record in both the boys' and girls' A-grade 4x500m relay event.

Diocesan Girls' School (DGS) set a new record while breaking the dominance of Good Hope School in the A-grade girls' 4x500m relay.

DGS, comprising Melody Kwok Pun-wan, Polly Duen Pui-yee, Carmen Gast and Rachel Leung Ya-yuan, faced the defending champions, led by famous shot-put athlete Florence Ho Yin-chiu.

The event record of 7 minutes, 11 seconds was set by Ho's team last year.

In the race, the first two rowers from DGS, Melody and Polly, were close behind the rowers from Good Hope. Then Carmen closed the gap and even overtook Good Hope before reaching the 1,500m mark. Rachel continued to pull ahead from her rivals and raced home, setting a new record of 7 minutes, 7 seconds.

Form Six student Melody revealed she hadn't touched the handle of a rowing machine since last year's tournament.

'I had just finished my exams and did one practice before I came. I found it very tiring to finish a distance of 500m but I still came to see what I could achieve,' said Melody.

In the A-grade boys' 4x500m relay, CMA Secondary School, led by Luo Shiran, defeated powerhouse Yu Chun Keung Memorial College, and set a new record.

The boys' event was split into two races because there were too many teams. Title favourites Yu Chun Keung and CMA competed in different races.

CMA started the first race with rower Cheng Kit-faat, followed by Richard Li Ka-ho and Shiran. Wilson Yeung Ka-wai, the 2,000m individual race gold medallist who finished the last 500m, was really fast.

His team finished in 5 minutes, 55 seconds, a new record for the event.

Despite a false start, Yu Chun Keung were going smoothly in the second race, and Wilson thought his team would lose.

He and his teammates cheered when Yu Chun Keung took more than 6 minutes to complete the race.

'I was so nervous when watching them [Yu Chun Keung] rowing in the second race. I really wanted to win a gold medal in the relay race,' said Wilson.

'This year, I have had a perfect ending after breaking the 2,000m and 4x500m relay records.'

DGS and Yu Chun Keung took the overall titles. Yu Chun Keung also achieved a grand slam, winning three grade titles, and their fourth consecutive overall crown.