Fong wins heat but fails to qualify

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 12:00am

ALEX FONG Lik-sun won his 50-metre backstroke heat at the Universiade yesterday, but his time of 28.76 seconds was still outside the fastest 16 swimmers in the four heats and he failed to advance to the semi-finals.

Teammate Chan Yiu-bun raced in the same heat but finished more than two seconds behind in 30.89. James Westcott of the United States recorded the fastest time of 25.67.

In the 100m freestyle heats, Kenneth Doo Kin-lun timed 53.52 seconds. Szeto Shui-ki was due to race in the 200m medley heats later in the day.

To date, the SAR has yet to join this year's World University Games medals table.

Following the Hong Kong volleyball players' battling loss to their taller and quicker mainland counterparts here on Monday, the basketball team also have an opportunity to raise the bar today when they clash with South Africa in phase two of the competition at Park Chung Hee Gym.

The volleyball team showed improved form in contrast to three miserable defeats to Portugal, Japan and Russia at the weekend.

They lost in straight sets once again, but came frustratingly close to stealing the first set off their rivals at the Catholic University Gym. The whole team looked much more confident and enthusiastic than before.

Basketball team leader Warman Cheng Wai-ming encouraged his players to go for the win. 'South Africa look tall but not so skilful. I think with our speed and shooting ability we could do well,' he said.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong finally made an achievement of note at the Universiade on Monday when Sherry Tsai Hiu-wai qualified for two semi-finals in the pool.

The former Diocesan Girls' School student and three-time Sportsgirl of the Year award winner, now enrolled at Orange Coast College in California, produced strong efforts in the morning heats where she clocked 30.31 seconds in the 50m backstroke and 2 minutes 25.10 seconds in the 200m medley.

The speedy times earned her a place in the evening semi-finals, where she faced elite swimmers from Japan, Russia, China, South Korea and the United States. They were too strong for Hiu-wai, who missed out on the finals.

The men's 4x100m freestyle relay team finished 15th out of 16 in the heats, with Chile occupying the last spot. The quartet of Doo, Fong, Szeto, and Chan Yiu-bun timed 3 minutes 36.32 seconds - 14 seconds behind the British and Ukranian heat winnners.

The third fastest sprinter in Hong Kong, Ryan Lai Ka-pun, found the rainy weather a hindrance on the opening day of track events at World Cup Stadiium. His time of 10.93 seconds in morning heats saw him through to the evening second round, where he could get nowhere near his personal best of 10.61. Chris Lambert from Britain timed 10.31, the fastest in the heats. China's Wang Peng (10.60) qualified for last night's final, where Lambert was expected to take the gold in a waltz.

Hong Kong's Eric Chan Chi-hong fared no better in the sprint - he finished last in his heat and was unable to break the 11-second barrier. In the 400m, Chan finished well outside the qualifiers in 51.29. Que Yin-tik and So Hoi-nam raced in the 1,500m heats last evening.

In archery on Monday, Hong Kong's Chan Sze-man lost her quarter-final in the compound women's individual event to South Korean Choi Mi-yeon.

In men's, Pang Kar-Hung scored 159 in the round of 16 but opponent Goran Villi of Croatia bettered him with 171.