athlete of the week
Name Dragon Lung Mei-kuen
School HKMLC Queen Maud Secondary School
Grade Form Five
Dragon, 16, was a member of Hong Kong's youth canoeing team and represented the city at the National Youth Championships in 2009. She left the team this summer to study for the HKDSE.
In local competitions, she rows for Dolphin Canoe Club and has won many gold medals.
In the Secondary School Canoe Competition in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Dragon won five gold medals each year. She helped her school to win its 12th consecutive overall title in last year's competition. Dragon will race in this year's competition on Saturday and Sunday.
'I left the Hong Kong youth team before this year's summer holidays mainly because of my studies,' Dragon says.
'I used to travel from Tseung Kwan O to Shek Mun in Sha Tin for training after school a few times every week.
'But I expect to have to work much harder in Form Five. It is a pity that I have to leave the national squad. I hope to rejoin the team after my HKDSE exam.
'I am not an athlete who does a lot of body-building, but with enough practice, I know how to get into the race and find the right rhythm to win. However, my current training is not systematic.
'The most important thing I must do before a race is get back the feeling of racing and balancing in water. I have been working much harder in recent weeks preparing for the inter-school competition.
'This year the organisers are limiting each athlete to only four events. I will have a partner from my team in two events, and I am confident that we will win the gold medals. For individual events, it is hard to predict my results, since I have been away from the sport for a while, and my form on the day will decide my position.'
From her coach
'Dragon always insists on making her own decisions; this is her strength and weakness,' says Shek Wing-ha, teacher in charge of the school canoe team.
'She is an athlete who needs guidance, and canoeing has played a major role in her life in recent years. I would like her to forget what she has won or the mistakes she has made. Forget about the past and set new targets.'
'My target is to represent Hong Kong at the Asian Canoe Championships,' Dragon says.