HK's best head for Super League

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 March, 2006, 12:00am

Hong Kong's top players will be able to sharpen their skills in the star-studded China Super League when the new season kicks off in May.

Featuring top players from China and a number of overseas stars, the China League provides the best quality competition for the sport in the world.

Lin Ling, the reigning Asian women's champion and a bronze medallist at the last world championships, will stay with the Commercial Bank of the Army, while Zhang Rui is returning to her provincial team, Liaoning's Bengang.

Jiang Huajun, recruited from Shandong, will stay with Luneng, the defending champions.

Hong Kong's top player Tie Yana will play for Shanghai University of Science and Technology in the First Division in their bid for promotion to the Super League.

In the men's event, Li Ching is joining Lin in the Commercial Bank team, while Ko Lai-chak, who played for champions Yinhe of Shanxi last season, is likely to stay with his club.

New recruit Tang Peng, who played for Beijing last season, will move to Zhejiang Haitian.

'The China league, which has been in operation since 1999, features not only the best players from the country, but also many leading overseas players,' said Li Huifen, Hong Kong women's coach.

'It provides regular and high standard competition, which can hardly be found in open tournaments, where a player may lose after one or two matches.'

'It will be a good training opportunity for our girls, both mentally and physically. I am sure that the more they play against top players, the more they will improve.'

Men's coach Chan Kwok-wah agreed that the China Super League is a classy contest.

'The strong line-up simply tells you everything about the [high] standard of the competition,' said Chan.