Tang faces support staff crisis ahead of open water event

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:07pm


Hong Kong's Natasha Tang Wing-yung, who will make her Olympics debut in the open water event on Thursday, is racing against time to find support staff for the race after her regular coach, Chung Yuen, was denied accreditation for the Games. The 19-year-old Diocesan Girls School student has been relying on her mother, Fatima Lee, to help with her preparation since arriving in London on Sunday. 'I am trying to get a day pass so that I can help Natasha with massage and oiling for protection in the cold water,' Lee said. 'I will talk to the organising committee to help resolve the problem.' The chairman of the Fina open water committee is Ronnie Wong Man-chiu, who is also the honorary secretary of the Hong Kong Swimming Association, a factor that could work in Tang's favour. Swimmers competing in the 10km open water race need, among other things, to be fed at regular intervals, a task that normally falls to the coach. In Tang's case, she will have to rely on Chan Yiu-hoi, who is head coach of the swimming team. Tang, who was born in London but returned to Hong Kong when she was one year old, is hoping to finish among the top 16 in Hyde Park's Serpentine Lake.