Wilson ready to take leading role

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 April, 2010, 12:00am

World University Games champion Hannah Wilson is ready to take over as Hong Kong's team leader following the retirement of Sherry Tsai Hiu-wai.

'I would love to be the leader if the other swimmers accept me. That would be a real honour,' Wilson said. 'I am happy to take up the responsibility, but the only thing is I can't speak Cantonese.'

She said she had tried to pick up the dialect, but made little progress. 'I am here twice a year only and there are not too many opportunities to practise it,' said Wilson, a student at the University of California, Berkeley.

Wilson, 21, was in Hong Kong yesterday to compete in the final qualifying meet for November's Asian Games. The event continues today at the Shing Mun Valley pool.

Wilson has already qualified for four events - the 50m and 100m events in butterfly and freestyle. She is also likely to be in all three relay teams (4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle and 4x100m medley).

The Guangzhou Asian Games will be the first time in more than a decade that Tsai will not be leading the Hong Kong team after she announced her retirement at last year's East Asian Games.

Yet Wilson said Hong Kong still had a good chance in the relay events at the Guangzhou Games. 'We were lucky to win a bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay in Doha four years ago, but we have the depth and the power to do really well again,' she said.

Hong Kong won a medal in Doha after third-placed South Korea were disqualified for an illegal changeover.

Meanwhile, Ng Chun-nam set a new Hong Kong record in the men's 50m butterfly, clocking 24.95 seconds. The old record of 24.97 was set by Yan Ho-chun, who finished second yesterday.