athlete of the week

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 January, 2008, 12:00am

Each week we talk to HK's brightest and best

Name Jade Leung Yee-mei

School The Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education

Sport Hammer throw

Achievements Leung, 24, is the Hong Kong hammer throw record holder. She first broke the Hong Kong record at the 23rd World University Games held in Turkey in 2005. She won gold at the first Asian University Athletics Championships in Guangzhou the same year.

She then went on to break her own record twice in 2006 during local competitions. Also, she won a gold medal in women's hammer throw at Thailand Athletics Open 2007 in October. In December last year, she improved her own record to 50.16 metres at the Hong Kong Athletic League Championships.

Soundbite 'I was always the strongest and tallest girl in class when I was in secondary school. I focused on the shot put and discus until I took up the hammer throw in 2003,' Leung said.

'I turned to the hammer out of curiosity. It's not popular in Hong Kong, especially for girls. After receiving training and taking part in a sports exchange programme in Beijing, I was convinced that the hammer was for me.

'It's different from other field sports. It not only requires power but also a sense of direction.

'In the beginning, I felt dizzy when practising. To improve my performance, I lift weights twice a week, attempting 40 kg to 50kg for each lift.'

From her coach 'Jade has the physical advantages of a hammer thrower. She is tall and her relatively long arms are just right for the sport,' said coach Chung Ka-bong.

'As she has been training for a long time, I'm confident she'll be able to throw 55 metres this year.'

Ambitions 'My short-term target is to push my record to 55m this year. I'm looking forward to the first-ever East Asian Games in Hong Kong [next year]. I missed the one in 2005 and I would like to represent Hong Kong this time. I will strive for excellence with a target throw of 60m.'