Wilson tipping golden spoils
HONG Kong are ready for their first Commonwealth medals following a change of training tactics over the past 18 months which has allowed gymnasts to fine tune their best routines.
National coach Jim Wilson is quietly confident his charges will make their breakthrough at the Commonwealth Games in Canada in the individual events.
''Previously we had tried to develop our gymnasts as all-rounders and although they are good, they have not been able to get results in terms of achievement at major international events,'' said Wilson.
''But for the last 18 months we have been concentrating on individual apparatus with the gymnasts paying more attention to his or her best pieces.
''This change of tactics is paying off. We won medals in Taiwan last year despite facing competitors from former Soviet states who are expected to give the Chinese a headache at this year's Asian Games.
''The competition at the Commonwealth Games is not as tough as at the Asian Games and I think we can pull off one or two surprises.
The Hong Kong women's team will be put to test at the Thailand Open next week and Wilson is hopeful they will return with a harvest of medals.
Leading the territory's challenge is Wut Fung-yin, who won the all-round gold at the same meeting two years ago. Her teammates are Wong Ka-li, Mok Chien-yee and Tang Fuk-kwan.
Wilson said: ''We'll only be competing against countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines and so the girls should be winning medals.
''Winning something at international meetings helps them psychologically.
It builds their confidence as we go into our final preparation for the Commonwealth and Asian Games.''