Lee Wai-sze sets sights on Games
Asian Games champion Lee Wai-sze has her sights set on racing in two events at the 2012 London Olympics as she starts one of the key qualifying races at the Track World Cup Classic in Beijing today.
The 23-year-old, who clinched a gold medal in the 500-metre time trial in Guangzhou with a new Asian record, returned to the venue in western Beijing where she first came to prominence with a bronze medal in the keirin at the 2010 Classic.
'Last year was a major milestone in my career, topping the world rankings in four disciplines simultaneously and winning a gold medal in Guangzhou,' said Lee, who started full-time training in 2004 after finishing secondary school.
'Now I would love to build on these successes and go further by setting sights on the London Games. Of course, it will be 100 times more difficult winning an Olympic Games medal than an Asian Games one, but I want to give a it go and test myself against the world's best.'
Lee topped the world rankings in the time trial, sprint, keirin and team sprint last summer after consistent performance in regional competitions and her success reached a career high with a time trial gold and a sprint bronze in Guangzhou in November.
With the time trial not being part of the Olympic programme, Lee aims to qualify in both sprint and keirin for London, and if possible, the team sprint with Meng Zhaojuan. Her ranking for the two individual events are fifth and 10th respectively, and only the top eight qualify for London.
Hong Kong coach Shen Jinkang is confident of developing his charge into a top track sprinter. 'Lee has strong potential,' said Shen. 'She is very smart and knows exactly what she is doing and why she is doing it. It is important to have a quick brain in cycling as it is much more than just a physical race.'
Lee and Meng will start in the team sprint today at Laoshan Velodrome, while the Hong Kong men's 4km pursuit team also begin their campaign.
Hong Kong won the silver medal in the team pursuit in Guangzhou, where they set their best time of four minutes and eight seconds in the quarter-finals, but Shen admitted they would need to improve by at least 10 seconds to be competitive in London.
The pursuit team will be headed by Kwok Ho-ting, who will also start today in the omnium - an Olympic event comprising six disciplines.