Heat is on for Hong Kong athletes
Sometimes athletes must battle extreme weather as well as their opponents. This is likely to be the case at the All China Secondary Schools Students' Games to be held in Bautao, Inner Mongolia later this month.
'At the 2005 Student Games in Nanjing, the temperature exceeded 40 degrees Celsius,' said leader of the athletics team, teacher Wong Chiu-keung.
'Athletes competed in harsh conditions, and the soles of their spiked shoes melted as the ground heated up.'
Weather conditions at the last Games in Changsha were also less-than favourable. Team captain, Achilles Chan Yan-lam from Diocesan Boys' School, and Kelvin Tsu Ka-chon, from La Salle College, was there in 2009.
'It was also hot there and it was kind of a difficult time for us. But we still did quite well. We came ninth in the 4x100m relay race and just missed the chance to be in the final,' said Kelvin, the 200m gold medallist in the Division One inter-school competition.
In Bautao, daytime temperatures are usually above 30c. But the boys are not afraid of competing in the hot weather or the city's higher altitude.
Achilles is in Lille, France, where he is competing in the IAAF World Youth Athletics Championships. He said he will be ready for the Games.
'I think our relay team is good enough to get into the final this time, and we can aim for a medal,' said the Junior Athlete of the Year award-winner.
'I have been dreaming of the moment when we would win a medal at the Games for so long and I hope we can realise that dream this time.'
Fung Kai Number 1 Secondary School has two athletes on the Hong Kong squad this time.
So Chun-hong and Tsang Wing-chung are in the relay team, while Chun-hong will also compete in the long jump. 'We are all aiming to win a medal in the relay. I hope I can help the team and do well in the long jump, too. My goal for the long jump is to achieve my personal best,' said Chun-hong, a newcomer to the Hong Kong team.
Hurdler Kwong Ming-kin may participate in four events as he is the reserve runner in both the 4x100m and 4x400m races.
For now, he also needs to practise the relay race with his teammates. 'I think my relay teammates are the best combination for the Games, but just in case they need a substitute, I am confident,' said Ming-kin.
He said he is happy to be back on the track after a break during the school examinations.
The athletics events will take place from July 18-21.
Young Post will follow all the action from Bautao.
The boys' athletics team: Ho Ping-kwan (Chong Gene Hang College), So Chun-hong and Tsang Wing-chung (Fung Kai No 1 Secondary School), Tsu Ka-chon (La Salle College), Achilles Chan Yan-lam (Diocesan Boys' School), Kwong Ming-kin, Jimmy Lee Cho-wai (Jockey Club Eduyoung College), Dak Lo Lok-tak (Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School)