HK brace for showdown in cool Kuwait

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 12:00am

Local players are hot as they aim high at the Asian Squash Championships

Hong Kong has sent a squad comprising four men and four women to the 14th Asian Squash Singles and Team Championships in Kuwait.

The tournament starts tomorrow and ends on February 21.

Dick Lau Siu-wai, Max Lee Ho-yin, Wong Wai-hang and Anson Kwong Yu-shun form the men's team while Rebecca Chiu Wing-yin, Christina Mak Pui-hin, Elise Ng Jia-yunn and Joey Chan Ho-ling make up the female contingent.

Hong Kong clinched two silver medals and one bronze at the biennial event in Taipei two years ago. Chiu and Mak won silver and bronze medals in women's singles, respectively. In the team event, Hong Kong's women came second while the men finished in fifth place.

Head coach Tong Choi said their target was to defend the medals they picked up in 2006. In addition, he predicted a great chance for the men's team to move a step up to fourth place. 'Most of the players in the men's team are around 20 years old. They've improved a lot in the past year and are able to fight for a better place against the strong teams,' Choi said.

Chiu - Hong Kong's top female player - said the team were in great condition and injury free.

'It's the first time for me to compete in Kuwait. I'm not worried about the cold weather there and hope to keep myself in good condition,' she said.

Lau, Hong Kong's top-ranked male player, said the cold weather maybe an advantage. 'I used to sweat a lot and I think I can perform better in cold weather. My target is to get to the quarter-finals,' he said. Lau said he is in excellent physical shape after months of intensive training.

Hong Kong is sending Lee - an up-and-coming player - to the competition this year.

'It is a large-scale international event attracting lots of strong players. I'm glad that I can represent Hong Kong in this competition. I'll try my best,' he said.

The men's tournament comprises 57 players from 14 countries, while 31 women from nine countries are competing for honours in Kuwait.

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