Guo experiences Games from other side of the fence

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 July, 2012, 12:00am


Retired diving queen Guo Jingjing is enjoying being in the stands for a change after a stellar career that saw her win four Olympic gold medals.

The Chinese ace, who retired last year, was spotted watching the Hong Kong gymnastics team compete at North Greenwich Arena yesterday.

'I enjoy just being a spectator,' said the pin-up, who was accompanied by Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, president of the Hong Kong Gymnastics Association. 'There are a lot of people in London watching the Games. The atmosphere is just fantastic. I also came here on Saturday to watch the gymnastics, just one of the spectators in the crowd.'

Guo, who is rumoured to be engaged to Fok, said she would also be watching the diving competition which started yesterday.

The Chinese are set to dominate the sport in which they won seven out of the eight possible gold medals at the Beijing Games four years ago, including two from Guo in the three-metre springboard and the synchronised three-metre springboard with Wu Mingxia.

'China still have many good divers and I have no regrets about not being part of the team in London,' said Guo.

Meanwhile, gymnast Angel Wong Hiu-ying felt like a winner yesterday despite failing to progress in either the all-around or the apparatus contests.

Her mount to the balance beam, a front tuck with a half turn, was accepted by officials as a new element and will be named after her by the International Gymnastics Federation.

'I am very happy to complete it at a major event like the Olympic Games,' said Wong, who scored 11.466 points in the beam for an overall tally of 49.765 in her four apparatus events. 'We sent video tapes of this new element to the international federation before the Games and they have accepted it in principle because no one has done it before.

'But I still needed to complete it in a major event and I am very happy I made it today.'

Wong said she felt no pressure as she knew a medal would be out of reach.

'I tried to do what I had practised at training and today it worked out very well,' the 25-year-old said. 'This is likely to be my first and last Olympic Games and it's certainly a memorable one.'

Hong Kong athletes endured more disappointment yesterday.

In shooting, Ip Pui-yi came last in the women's 10-metre air pistol with a score of 346, while Stephanie Au Hoi-shun came eighth out of eight swimmers in her 100-metre backstroke heat. Her time of one minute and 4.31 seconds was well off the Hong Kong record of 1:01.06 she set in April.

In rowing, So Sau-wah lost in his men's single sculls repechage while men's lightweight doubles sculls pair Leung Chun-shek and Lok Kwan-hoi were also beaten in their heat.

Lam Hin-chung was beaten by Adam Skrodzki of Poland 15-10 in the men's individual sabre round of 64.

Tang Peng lost his table tennis second-round match 4-3 to Noshad Alamiyan of Iran and crashed out of the tournament.