Table tennis team's lone silver fails to match medal tally set in Doha
While Hong Kong athletes have enjoyed great success in the first week in Guangzhou, the table tennis squad, a major source of medals at the Doha Games four years ago, managed only one silver medal.
Cheung Yuk and Jiang Huajun salvaged some pride for Hong Kong as the losing finalists to China's Xu Xin and Guo Yan in yesterday's mixed doubles final at Guangzhou Gymnasium - the team's only success in seven table tennis events.
'It's certainly a disappointing result,' Hong Kong coach Chan Kong-wah said. 'But at least we have won a silver and it's better than nothing. Some of our team members have played for more than 10 years, so what we have to do is identify younger players who can take their place.'
Hong Kong won one gold, two silver and two bronze medals at the Doha Games. In Pusan in 2002, the team returned home with one gold and bronze.
While Cheung - who won gold with Tie Yana in the same event in Pusan - was satisfied with his silver this time around, he was disappointed with the team's overall performance. 'We have the ability to win more medals, but we failed to deliver in Guangzhou,' he said.
Hong Kong won another medal yesterday with badminton ace Yip Pui-yin claiming a bronze after losing in the women's singles final to Wang Shixian of China. Yip, a silver medallist at the Doha Games, lost 21-14, 21-14, but still bagged a bronze medal as there is no play-off for the third place.
'I was overexcited after defeating the second seed the previous night and did not get enough sleep,' said Yip (pictured). 'But I also have myself to blame as I was too eager to win when I was leading 12-7 in the second set, allowing Wang to come back into the match.
'I am sorry for the fans because I heard so many of them cheering for me and I failed to perform to my best. I hope I can make amends when the Hong Kong Super Series kicks off next month.'
In windsurfing, Chan King-yin kept his gold medal hopes alive, but only one race was completed yesterday because of a lack of wind.
Chan came second in yesterday's race nine, sailed under a wind speed of seven knots. That result meant he is in second place overall on 16 penalty points, one ahead of China's Yao Fuwen. Oka Sulaksana of Indonesia is the overall leader on 13 penalty points with three races to go.
In the women's event, Chan Wai-kei and Chan Hei-man remain second overall in the RSX and Mistral classes respectively, while Cheng Kwok-fai remains fifth in the men's RSX after finishing third yesterday.
Hong Kong are guaranteed two more medals from squash as Joey Chan Ho-ling and Annie Au Wing-chi face each other in the women's individual semi-finals today. The winner of the all-Hong Kong affair is likely to take on world number one Nicol David of Malaysia in the final.