Bad jump ends dream for Hongkonger

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


Hong Kong's Shek Wai-hung sat on his backside and wondered where it had all gone wrong.

Brimming with confidence after a seventh-place finish in the men's vault at last year's World Championships in Tokyo, the 20-year-old found it a different game at this level.

Although he had recovered from a shoulder injury sustained during his pre-Olympic training in Beijing, his first jump in the vault at the North Greenwich Arena was terrible, as he landed sitting on the floor. Shek, the first Hong Kong gymnast to qualify for an Olympics since the 1952 Helsinki Games, recorded a disappointing score of 14.9 points.

'I could not believe what I had done, as I had been looking forward to this day for many years,' said a shattered Shek, who has been training on the mainland since he was 16 to pursue his Olympic dream. 'I was too tense before the jump and could not stay focused. There was too much pressure. I did not handle it well.'

His second attempt was better - 16.033 points - but his hopes of reaching the final were gone.

'His training since he arrived in London had been fine, and there was also nothing wrong with his warm-up preparation before the jump,' said coach Poon King-hung. 'But he failed to live up to expectations. There was a lot of pressure on him. He is still young, and still has a chance to come back in four years.'

Shek's performance on other apparatus was also affected, as he fell from the horizontal bar and messed up on the pommel horse. Shek had already decided to drop the two other apparatus - rings and parallel bars - before the competition due to his shoulder injury.