2 Minutes with ...CHEUNG CHI-YIP

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 October, 2005, 12:00am

Cheung Chi-yip is one of Hong Kong's most promising judo prospects. At only 18 years old, he has been undefeated on Hong Kong soil in the past three years. He is a member of the Hong Kong team and last week kept his winning streak alive by taking home the under-73kg category gold at the Hong Kong Judo Championships with three straight victories.

How long have you been doing judo?

I started when I was 11 years old and I have been on the Hong Kong team for the past three to four years.

What do you like about judo?

I like how it comes very close to being an art form with its focus on perfection. Manners are very important, for example, and that shows right at the beginning of a match when you bow to the opponent and to the judge. During the match you have to be perfect in controlling your body and in executing the throws.

How did you do in your recent international tournaments and what is your next big tournament?

I won a gold medal at the Thailand International Judo Championships and a silver medal at the Indonesian International Judo Championships, both of which were in August. I'm looking forward to the Asian Junior Championships in Taipei at the end of October. It will be my third time there and I think I can get a medal this time.

Do you think there are enough good sparring partners during training so you can keep on improving?

Yes, absolutely. The Hong Kong team have three to four people in every weight class, with about 30 people in whole team, so there is always someone to fight against.

What do you think of the new coach (Hiroomi Fujita, who was invited to train the Hong Kong team from Japan in August, after previous head coach Ikeda Mitsuteru left a year ago)?

Coach Fujita helps us a lot in practices and at tournaments. He taught us that minor injuries are no excuse and we just have to tough it out. The other good thing is that he is a world class judo exponent and we learn by sparring with him. But I miss coach Mitsuteru. I hope to remember what he taught me and always review it in my mind.Robin Kwong