Wu and Wat to carry HK hopes
By NORIDEEN KITCHELL
ASIAN Games bronze medallist Wu Ching-hui and teenager Wat Tze-wan have been picked to carry Hong Kong's colours in the judo event at the inaugural Pacific Games in Cali, Colombia, in mid-June.
Judo has been given only three places in the Hong Kong contingent who will also be taking part in athletics, cycling and swimming events in Cali, and the other ticket went to coach Chan Hung-wai.
Hong Kong Judo Association vice-chairman Wong Po-kee said: 'We've picked Wu and Wat on the strength of their performances at the Asian Games in Hiroshima last October.
'Wu won a bronze in the women's under-61 kilograms category while Wat was our only other judoka to make the last eight, finishing seventh in the men's under-61 kilograms division.' But Wong added he is not holding any hopes of a medal in Cali as the Pacific Games carry ranking points towards qualifying for the Atlanta Olympics and the best in Asia and the Americas will be there.
Wu and Wat, however, are expected to do well in their 'warm-up' event leading to Cali - the Pan Pacific Championships in Sydney from June 3-5.
They will be joined by women players Chan Mei-ling (under-52 kilograms) and Lai Wai-shan (under-66 kilograms) on the trip to Australia.
'The Pan Pacific Championships is also a qualifying event for the Olympic Games but our players are up to the standard because they will be meeting more or less the same rivals as in the Asian Games,' said Wong.
'We expect all of them to make the last eight and I wouldn't be surprised if they bring home a medal or two.' Wu has already booked her place in the 1996 Olympic Games line-up with her third-placed finish in Hiroshima but the others would be aiming for their first ranking points.
Chan is noted for being the only Hong Kong player to have beaten a South Korean opponent but Lai is the territory's fastest rising judo star.