Wilson settles for bronze on happy homecoming

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 December, 2009, 12:00am

Hong Kong's Hannah Wilson enjoyed a warm reception on her homecoming, but had to settle for bronze in the 100-metres freestyle as the swimming competition got off to a record-breaking start at Kowloon Park Swimming Pool last night.

Hong Kong's biggest hope in the swimming pool, Wilson finished third behind Chinese pair Li Zhesi and Tang Yi in the blue-riband event in front of a full gallery as records tumbled.

'I'm really happy to have won a medal for Hong Kong. I really gave it my best shot. I went for it [at the start] and the other guys got the better of me in the end. If I had more, I would have given more,' Wilson said.

She had the crowd roaring when she darted out of the starting blocks and swum a superb opening 50m.

The 20-year-old Hong Kong ace, a two-time Olympian, was on gold medal-winning pace when she touched the boards first at the first turn in 26.28 seconds, ahead of Li. But Wilson faded quickly at the finish to leave Li and Tang to fight it out for gold.

Li eventually powered to a new Games record of 54.24 seconds - breaking the old Games record of 54.65 - ahead of Tang, who clocked 54.82, with Wilson third in 55.13.

Wilson's time was outside her national record of 54.35, which she set in winning gold at the University Games in Belgrade.

Hong Kong's other finalist in the event, Sze Hang-yu, finished fifth in 55.98.

Before the race, Wilson, who also won gold at the University Games in the 100m butterfly, had received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Meanwhile, Beijing Olympics gold medallist Liu Zige won the women's 200m butterfly. Liu, who won China's only gold medal in swimming at the Beijing Olympics, clocked 2:04.65, slower than her Olympic mark of 2:04.18, to beat compatriot Jiao Liuyang, who came home in 2:06.07, with Japan's Yuko Nakanishi third in 2:09.32.