Inspired Daniel helps team weather storm
Heavy thunderstorms that halted flights to Inner Mongolia failed to prevent Hong Kong students attending the opening ceremony of the All China Secondary Schools Students' Games in Baotou.
Five Hong Kong teams - aerobics, badminton, wushu, athletics and swimming - found their flight from Beijing to Baotou delayed because of bad weather on Friday night. But all the members of Hong Kong's 176-strong delegation of coaches, athletes and officers took part in Saturday night's opening ceremony at Baotou's Olympic Sports Centre,
Later, flag-bearer Daniel Siu Cheong-hung, a member of the boys' volleyball team, helped Hong Kong weather another storm, as they overcame a fightback by Shandong to reach the semi-finals.
Daniel had led the delegation into the arena hours after his team's 3-0 triumph over Inner Mongolia. 'The flag is very heavy, but I needed to keep waving it to the crowd. I had mixed feelings about it; I was excited, but also exhausted - and I felt a bit nervous,' he said.
On Sunday, despite feeling tired, Daniel inspired his team to a tense 3-2 win over Shandong. The evenly matched teams both needed to win to reach the last four.
Hong Kong had fought back after losing the first set to lead 2-1, only for Shandong to level the match. In the nerve-wracking final set, Hong Kong - assisted by Wong Ho-kiu's fine defence and excellent blocking by Alex Chan Chi-wai - secured victory after a two-and-a-half-hour battle.
Team manager Law Wing-fai said: 'New players like Jonathan To Sik-lok and Lam Cheuk-hin also played very well. The teams were very well matched and rarely made errors. It was a tough game.'
For the latest live Games results, go to yp.scmp.com