Hong Kong strikes gold in Shanghai

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2007, 12:00am

Local athletes excel at the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games

The HKSAR squad brought 67 gold, 50 silver and 37 bronze medals back from the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Shanghai last month.

Nearly 7,500 athletes from more than 165 countries took part in the competition

A group of 106 mentally handicapped Hong Kong athletes competed in 10 out of the 25 categories at the competition including aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce (an Italian game similar to bowls but with a shorter green), bowling, soccer, golf, gymnastics and table tennis.

Fay Ho Kim-fai, national director of Hong Kong Special Olympics team said: 'We are very happy with the great results achieved. We sent a strong team to Shanghai. It was the first time we took part in golf, basketball and bocce and the results are very satisfactory.'

The athletes clinched three gold, three silver and one bronze medals in golf; one gold, seven silver and four bronze medals in bocce and came fourth in the basketball competition. Ho said that sports that require team co-operation and tactics, like basketball and football, are more difficult for mentally handicapped athletes. 'We are very pleased we came first in football. It is a great improvement and a real encouragement.'

She added that sports requiring team spirit help the mentally handicapped a lot in learning how to communicate and cooperate with each other.

Man Wai-shing, 14, from Hong Chi Morninghill School, Tuen Mun clinched the only gold medal in bocce for Hong Kong.

'I'm thrilled to win the gold medal of Bocce Men's Singles. I hope to clinch both the individual and team gold medals in the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Athens,' he said.

The HKSAR squad performed the best in swimming, securing 37 medals in total, with 15 gold, 14 silver and eight bronze.

The gymnastics squad clinched 16 gold medals and 35 medals in total, the most number of gold medals within the 10 categories.

The entire squad had a great meal at Disneyland to celebrate their excellent performances and to acknowledge the hard work and support of the officials, volunteers and family members who helped the team prepare for the Games.