athlete of the week

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 June, 2008, 12:00am

Each week we talk to HK's brightest and best

Name Wong Wing-ki

Sport Badminton

Achievements Wong, 18, left school to become a full-time professional badminton player three years ago.

His hard work paid off in the Dutch Junior Badminton Championships held in the Netherlands in February.

He came fifth in the men's singles and second in the mixed doubles at the tournament which attracted young, up-and-coming players from 21 countries.

In March, Wong put in another excellent performance at the German Junior International, where he clinched a silver medal in the men's singles. This was followed by his first-ever Hong Kong Sports Institute Outstanding Junior Athlete Award.

Soundbite 'I started playing badminton in primary school. At that time, I just wanted to take part in sport in order to stay healthy. I never thought about taking part in competitions, let alone becoming a professional player,' said Wong.

'When I was in Form Two, I was picked for the Asian Junior Championships. I found that teenagers from other countries were much stronger than me.

'I loved badminton and I wanted to be stronger. Therefore, I decided to quit my studies and train full time. My parents were not convinced at first but they eventually supported my decision.

'I'm glad that I won a silver medal in Germany this year. It means a lot to me. I was finally able to prove to my parents that I had made the right decision in giving up my studies. I would like to thank them for their support and understanding.'

From his coach 'Wing-ki is one of our best young players. He has improved a lot this year and I'm sure the silver medal he won [in Germany] would help boost his confidence. He still has room for improvement,' said Liu Zhi-heng.

Ambitions 'My ultimate goal is to take part in the 2012 London Olympics. To make my dream come true, I'll work hard to be among the top 30 players in the world,' said Wong.