youth olympian of the week
Kevin Kung, Young Post intern
Name Michael Cheng Chun-leung
School Stewards Pooi Kei College
Grade Form Four
Achievements Michael, 16, is a member of the Hong Kong windsurfing team. He was the champion at the Techno 293 Asian Championships this year. Also, he was the second runner-up at the Techno 293 Open Championships in Rome, Italy, in March.
He was the champion of the junior boys' techno group at the 53rd Bank of China (Hong Kong) Festival of Sports Windsurfing Competition held earlier this month.
How he qualified 'The Techno 293 Asian Championships held in Thailand was the first qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG),' Michael says. 'I was very nervous and didn't start off well. But eventually I was able to resist the challenge of other athletes and win the championship. The title helped me to secure a place in the YOG.'
Soundbite 'I have been training with the Hong Kong team for almost two years. Our senior windsurfers have been doing very well in international competitions and they are very willing to share their experiences with me,' Michael says.
'But sometimes their outstanding performances also put pressure on me. I think I need to learn how to cope with the pressure in order to have better results in competitions.
'Windsurfers usually need some time to get used to the conditions of the competition venue. I have never competed in Singapore so I will go there 16 or 17 days before the start of the Games to get ready. We will adjust our strategy after the trials.'
From his coach 'Michael is an outstanding windsurfer. The minimum age to be a member of Hong Kong's windsurfing team is 14. He was promoted from the junior ranks immediately after his 14th birthday and started training with the RSX board, which is for under-19 and senior windsurfers,' says Chan Hoi-suen.
'Michael is now meeting a sports psychologist and we hope he can have a positive mentality in upcoming competitions.'
Insight for the Games 'I will be competing at the Techno 293 World Championships in France next month,' Michael says. 'This will be my last major junior event before the YOG. Many of my YOG rivals will be in France, too. I want to get into the top three at the world event and win a medal at the YOG.'
Kevin Kung will be reporting all the YOG action from Singapore for Young Post