Wong finds silver lining

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 July, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 July, 1995, 12:00am

HONG KONG'S ace cyclist Wong Kam-po collected his second international medal of the year when he took second place in the individual road race at the Pacific Ocean Games in Colombia on Saturday.

The 175-kilometre event started from Palmire and finished with a seven-lap criterium within the Games' hub city of Cali 120 kilometres away.

Wong, who won an Asian Championship bronze medal two months ago and also earned a place for himself in next year's Atlanta Olympic Games with that effort, packed a powerful finish to take the silver medal.

The 22-year-old was with the third group in about 12th position going into the penultimate lap but staged a bold solo run to catch the leading peloton comprising three Colombian riders.

Wong surprised the partisan Colombian crowd who had been hoping for a one-two-three sweep by the home team when he outsprinted two of his rivals to finish second.

'The conditions were very tough. It was hot and there was a two-kilometre uphill stretch in the criterium,' said Walter Yue Kar-lok, of the Hong Kong Cycling Association.

'Those seven hill-climbs towards the end of the race were the real killers, forcing 20 of the 46 competitors to give up.

'The Colombians were banking on those climbs to sweep all the medals because they have always been strong in the hills, and Wong caused quite an uproar when he upstaged them in their game.' Hong Kong sent only two riders to the Games and teammate Man Wai-chung also put up a creditable performance to finish 19th out of the 46 entries from 11 countries. Wong brought the territory's medal tally at the inaugural Games to 10 - five golds, two silvers and three bronzes.