Wong savours track success
RACING at a sub-standard venue gave Wong Kam-po a crucial home advantage in the SAR's first international track cycling event yesterday.
The Asian Games road race champion sprinted to victory in the one-kilometre individual time trial on the first day of the Hong Kong International Invitation event at the Sports Institute's little-used velodrome.
Wong clocked one minute and 12.316 seconds, edging out Shanxi's Cheng Xinshu, who registered 1:12.860.
He also secured at least a silver in the 4km individual pursuit by advancing to today's final, where he will face another Shanxi cyclist, Lu Yongping.
Wong's success took both himself and national coach Shen Jinkang by surprise, with Wong attributing it to the fact he was more familiar with the velodrome than the visitors.
'I did okay, but I'm delighted that I won a title on home ground,' he said.
Competing in a velodrome that featured an irregular surface and a steep slope by international standards, riders from the mainland provinces, South Korea and Macau were clearly concerned about safety and did not race at full speed.
Organisers also cancelled several multi-competitor events, including madison and point races, as they worried about safety.
The velodrome is in a poor state of repair and is more commonly used as a car park to generate extra income for the Sports Institute.