Strong showing in Europe seals berth for Chan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 July, 2002, 12:00am

World junior windsurfing champion Chan King-yin will make his Asian Games debut in October after edging out teammate Cheng Kwok-fai for a place in the SAR squad following two legs of selection trials in Europe.

'I'm really excited because it's my first Asian Games,' said Chan, 19, after finishing ahead of Cheng in both May's SPA Regatta in Holland and last week's Kiel Week Regatta in Germany.

But Chan, who won the world title in Thailand last December, will have to sail in his second-choice discipline in Pusan - lightweight raceboard - as the SAR's top male windsurfer and 1999 world junior champion, Ho Chi-ho, secured his place in the lightweight mistral class thanks to strong international results.

Chan said: 'There is a little difference in sailing on raceboard and mistral board, so I need to work very hard in the next few months to adjust my technique.' The battle between Chan and Cheng, 18, was neck-and-neck before Cheng made a crucial mistake at the start of the third-last race at Kiel and was disqualified

Chan, who had been two places behind Cheng, cashed in on his teammate's mistake and played a cat-and-mouse game in the final two races before finishing six places higher than Cheng overall.

Chan was five places ahead of Cheng in May's SPA Regatta in Holland. The four-strong squad for Pusan will be led by reigning world champion Lee Lai-shan, who will defend her mistral class title, while veteran Tang Luen-chun, who will race in the men's heavyweight raceboard, makes a comeback after his Asian Games debut in Pattaya four years ago.

The quartet will take a week's break at home before heading to another European training stint, which includes the 2004 Olympic Test Event in Athens.