Golden boy Wong rides high in public vote
Cyclist Wong Kam-po, who won a third Asian Games gold medal in Guangzhou, has emerged as the favourite for the Hong Kong Sports Stars Awards after public voting closed yesterday.
The 37-year-old led the public ballot, with snooker player Marco Fu Ka-chun in second place and another cyclist, BMX rider Steven Wong, in third. All three won golds in Guangzhou last November.
Other athletes in the top 10 were Yip Pui-yin (badminton), Chan Siu-ki (soccer), Ng On-yee (snooker), Darryl O'Young (motorsport), Chan King-yin (windsurfing), Daniel Lee Chi-wo (triathlon) and Yu Chui-yee (wheelchair fencing). Public voting and the sport media contribute 20 per cent of the total ballot each. The judging panel has the remaining 60 per cent.
'Wong did a very good job in Guangzhou and coupled with his popularity in the community, it does not surprise me he is in pole position,' said Vivien Lau Chiang-chu of the organisers, the Hong Kong Olympic Committee.
'Other Asian Games gold medallists also stand a good chance of winning awards, but we should not forget some athletes who did well at the world championships in their respective sports. They can also mount strong challenges.'
Wong became the most successful road cyclist in Asian Games history when he won his third individual road race title in Guangzhou. He first won the event at the 1998 Bangkok Games and repeated the feat in Doha eight years later.
With a bronze at the 2002 Pusan Games, he has collected four road race medals in four consecutive Asiads. No cyclist has won more than two medals in the event. Eight sports stars will be revealed on February 21. Each will receive a HK$30,000 award. The one with the highest number of votes will win the grand title - the best-of-the-best sports star - and collect an additional HK$50,000.
Wong has won 12 sports star awards and was 'best of the best' in 2006 and 2007. The Hong Kong rugby team, who won a silver medal at the Guangzhou Games, are favourites in the team-only sport category after the public vote, while there will be strong competition for the team event award, where there are two winners.
The women's snooker team, gold medallists in Guangzhou, the men's track cycling team, the women's squash team and the women's wheelchair fencing team are all top contenders. A breakdown of the voting was not given.
Cyclist Wong Kam-po has now won this number of individual road race medals in consecutive Asian Games: 4