• Mon
  • Sep 15, 2014
  • Updated: 9:43pm

Poon cruises to 100m victory on world championships tailwind

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2011, 12:00am

Poon Pak-yan celebrated her return from the world championships in South Korea with victory in the women's 100 metres at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground yesterday.

Although the talented sprinter failed to make it past the first round in Taegu, she was full of excitement after performing on the world athletics stage. 'It was all about learning from the experience,' Poon said of her 12-day trip to South Korea, where she competed in the women's 100m hurdles. 'The other competitors regularly run around 13.2 seconds, so my time of 14.04 was never going to get me into the second round.'

Poon's talent was originally spotted by athletics coach Yip Kai-tak while she was still at primary school. She also started playing women's rugby at the age of six and has long combined her love of athletics and rugby. Poon still occasionally plays for her team, Gai Wu, and she was part of the Hong Kong team that finished fourth at the Asian Games in Guangzhou last year. However, athletics is now very much the focus.

Earlier this year, Poon set her personal best time of 13.92 seconds for the women's 100m hurdles during the second round of the Xtep Athletic League. But she elected to run the 100m in yesterday's fourth round so she could qualify for the finals in both events. 'I've already qualified for next month's final in the 100m hurdles, having won the first two rounds, so today I had to run the 100m to be able to qualify for that event as well, as a [result] from at least two rounds is needed to make the finals,' Poon said.

Reflecting on Taegu certainly inspired the 21-year-old student to perform well yesterday, and her winning time of 12.30 seconds into a headwind saw her finish well in front of runner-up Li Lut-yin.

'I learned a lot about warm-up and race preparation by watching the top athletes go through their routines in Taegu,' said Poon, who ran the anchor leg in the women's 4x100m relay in the recent University Games in Shenzhen, where the squad set a Hong Kong record of 45.50.

'You don't get to see athletes warming up on TV, and it's only by being there that you are able to learn more about the sport and how to improve,' Poon said. 'Performing in front of a packed stadium was also truly exciting - the atmosphere was something I had never experienced before.'

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