School relay rowers pull together for their teams
The Inter-school Indoor Rowing Competition is all about pulling together for success, but no matter the distance, it's never an easy job for a team.
The finals of this year's competition were held last Saturday at the Harbour Road Sports Centre. As expected, Yu Chun Keung Memorial College dominated the boys' team events and took home their third consecutive overall title, while Diocesan Girls' School (DGS) beat their strong rivals, Good Hope School, to defend their overall crown.
Young Post watched the two most competitive events of the day - the Grade A girls' and boys' 4 x 500m relay races.
Good Hope sent Florence Ho Yin-chiu, Constance Woo Wing-yan, Mavis Wong Hoi-yi and Chloe Fan Chun-ka to defend their gold medal in the event. Captain Florence said she didn't look at the screen that showed the position of each team when she rowed. 'I told myself not to look at the screen as I needed to concentrate,' she said. Good Hope widened the gap with DGS to as much as 95 metres at one point before finishing about 60m ahead of their challengers in the end.
Good Hope bettered the record set last year by their schoolmates by 27 seconds.
'We were not only aiming to win the gold medal, but also to break the record,' an exhausted Chloe said.
'I know DGS were narrowing their deficit and I felt guilty that I couldn't row faster, so I was very unhappy after the race. I need to thank my teammates, they cheered me up.'
Although Good Hope won the Grade A relay race, DGS beat them for the overall title.
Meanwhile, Yu Chun Keung were favourites again for the boys' Grade A title. Led by Cheung Ting-hong, they showed great teamwork throughout the race. First rower, Form Five student Ip Kwok-on, faced huge pressure as his rival from MKMCF Ma Chan Duen Hey Memorial College took his place alongside him.
'I was nervous when I saw them rowing that fast at the start but I summoned all my energy to prevent them from taking the lead,' Kwok-on said.
Ting-hong got off to a roaring start as second rower, and soon opened up a big lead. 'Our team was under pressure but we did our best today,' he said. 'We saved a lot of time at the transition. It took us only about one second to pass the handle to the next rower while other teams needed three or four seconds.'
Ting-hong demonstrated how to roll from the seat of the machine to allow third rower Jerry Liu Sai-chun to continue the race quickly.
Yu Chun Keung faced one more challenge when CMA Secondary School's final rower, Yeung Ka-wai, also a member of the Hong Kong junior team, mounted a strong chase.
'Ka-wai is my friend and he broke the record for the Grade A boys' 2,000m individual race the day before,' Yu Chun Keung's final rower, Karson Lam Kwok-wing, said. 'I know him well but I was confident that he wouldn't be able to overtake us.'
Yu Chun Keung coach, Ryan Wong Kai-hang, was proud of his boys' performance. 'This is only the third year of the competition, but the standard keeps improving,' he said.