Handball champions battle it out

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 January, 2005, 12:00am

District champions will slug it out for the All-Hong Kong title in the Jing Ying handball competition at Kowloon Park Sports Centre this weekend.

Confucian Ho Kwok Pui Chun College (CHKPCC), the defending boys' and girls' champions, are the favourites.

The girls from Tai Po will be gunning for a record fourth straight championship, and the boys - who regained the trophy they won in 2000 and 2001 - are aiming for a fourth in six years. CHKPC's Ip Shi-yan and Lau Sze-wan, last year's Jing Ying Most Valuable Players, will lead their respective teams.

The boys' competition starts tomorrow, with 16 teams taking part in a knock-out format. The quarter-finals are on Sunday and the semi-finals and final are scheduled for next weekend. Twelve girls' teams played their first-round matches last weekend, and eight, including the four seeded sides, will clash in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

'I think CHKPCC will be hard to beat,' said Edmond Hung Chor-ying, coach of YCH Tung Chi Ying Memorial Secondary School (TCY), who reached the boys' final last year.

'They have three boys in the Hong Kong youth team, which also contains two players from Ying Wa College. Ying Wa are the champions of the Hong Kong and Kowloon districts. They won the title twice in a row before last year.

'CCC Tam Lee Lai Fun Memorial Secondary School from Tuen Mun are also strong and we could play them in the semi-finals if all goes according to plan. We are confident we can do well.

I think the finals will attract a lot of supporters from all the schools. It should be a good atmosphere, especially as it is indoors. Jing Ying is a high-level competition. It will be good to watch.'

Handball is a combination of basketball and football. Players are responsible for both attack and defence, and a high level of fitness is required. There are seven players on the court and eight on the bench.

To learn more about the sport, visit www.handball.org.hk