Points system to decide Olympic wild cards

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 March, 2008, 12:00am

A scoring table will be used to decide the two wild-card entries for Hong Kong if no athlete is able to reach the qualifying standard for the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer.

Top sprinter Tang Yik-chun, who came fourth in the 200 metres at the Asian championships in Amman, Jordan, last July heads a group of potential athletes who can make their Olympic dreams come true.

But his personal best of 21.15 seconds set in Amman is still far from the qualifying mark of 19.7 seconds.

However, officials are confident that Hong Kong will be represented in Beijing. 'The world body has set a very late deadline for athletes to reach the standard [July] but we hope the athletes can make it as soon as possible because the Olympic Committee needs time to process the entries,' said Eric Lee Chi-wing, chairman of the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA).

'Even if they cannot make the standard, we still have two wild-card entries for the Beijing Games. The International Association of Athletics Federations has provided an objective scoring table which can be used to measure performance when athletes fail to make the official mark.

'Combining with other factors in training and competition, we will decide how to allocate the two Olympic wild cards.'

Lee said the association was happy with the progress the athletes had made after their winter training camps and that he was expecting some good results in rounds two (April 12-13) and three (May 31-June 1) of the Hong Kong League meetings.

Other than Tang, who is currently training at the US Olympic Centre, up-and-coming sprinter Leung Ki-ho is another athlete to watch. Leung, who came fifth at the Asian championships, has a personal best of 21.29 in the 200 metres.

Tang was named the HKAAA's Athlete of the Year (senior category) last night, while Leung took the junior prize. In the women's category, Wan Kin-yee won the senior prize and Leung Hau-sze the junior award.

The association also revealed a training fund of HK$460,000 in the lead-up to next year's East Asian Games to be hosted by Hong Kong.