BMX riders go flat out for success
The Metro City Plaza in Tseung Kwan O was filled with screeching sounds last Sunday as BMX riders showed off their talents at the 2006-2007 Hong Kong BMX Flatland Contest.
It was the first time an official cycling event was held inside a shopping mall in Hong Kong and the audience was impressed by the performers.
The plaza hosted the final stage of a series of competitions jointly organised by the Hong Kong Cycling Association and Hong Kong BMX (Flatland) Association.
The top three riders from the series will represent Hong Kong at the second Asian Indoor Games, which will be held in Macau next year.
Eddie Chan Shing-hay, 24, was the overall champion, followed by Ng Chuk-hang, 31.
Chan took up BMX riding three years ago.
'I joined the competition just for fun. I think it's a good chance for me to meet more BMX flatland lovers,' Chan said.
'Winning is not the most important thing for me, so I'm under less pressure and perform well. I guess that's why I won. There were many skilful riders in the competition. I was lucky.'
Kan Chung-tak, who took third place, may be only 20 years old but he has a lot of experience.
He first got on a BMX bike when he was 14 and has four years' experience on flatland.
'I'm not satisfied with my performance today. I made too many mistakes,' Kan said. 'I think BMX flatland riding is cool. There is great satisfaction when I complete a difficult routine. I love this sport.'
BMX flatland riders perform on smooth, flat surfaces. The sport includes many difficult stunts, including a 360-degree turn. Both Chan and Kan agreed that watching videos of international riders helped them get more ideas for their own moves. They tried out the manoeuvres with other riders and improved their skills through discussion and practice.
'It is a very time-consuming sport and it may take a few years before you are rewarded for your efforts,' Chan said.
Chan will join Ng and Kan in showcasing their skills in Macau next year.