Relay team shatter HK record as they chase home China

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2009, 12:00am

Hong Kong won their first silver medal of the Games in the pool last night as China and Japan continued to dominate at Kowloon Park Swimming Pool.

The women's 4 x 200 metres relay team, comprising Sze Hang-yu, Hannah Wilson, Kong Man-yi and Stephanie Au Hoi-shun, came second in the last event of the night in a Hong Kong record.

Their time of eight minutes and 4.86 seconds beat the old mark set at last month's Asian Championships by almost 13 seconds. China won in a Games record time of 8:01.14, while South Korea were third in 8:07.73.

Earlier, medal hopeful Sherry Tsai Hiu-wai finished fourth in the women's 50m backstroke, while Wilson came fifth in the women's 50m butterfly.

'I did not worry too much about a medal as I was confident we could do well in the relay,' Hong Kong head coach Chan Yiu-hoi said.

'Our strategy was to put Sze and Wilson in the first two legs and, if they could hold off the Koreans, we would have a great chance of winning a medal. At the end of the day, it all worked out as planned,' he said.

'All four swimmers set their personal best times and they did a marvellous job.'

Hong Kong also clinched a silver medal at last month's Asian Championships, beating Japan into third place.

'I knew we all could swim a great 200 metre free and with the home crowd here we didn't want to let anyone down,' said Wilson. 'The crowd played a huge role. 'I am extremely pleased as I had expected a bronze. But as soon as Rosanna [Sze] started and had a great leg, there was no reason why we could not do better and go for the silver.'

Tsai said the silver medal won by her teammates would inspire her. 'I still have the 100 metre backstroke and two relays to swim and I am pretty confident of doing well, especially after today,' said Tsai.

China and Japan shared the eight gold medals on the second day of competition, all in Games records.

China's 800m world record-holder, Zhang Lin, who opted not to wear the new hi-tech swimming suits that are banned from next month, could manage only third in the 200 metres, losing to two Japanese swimmers.