athlete of the week
Name Damien Ma Chi-wang
School Diocesan Boys' School
Grade Form Six
Damien, 17, is a breaststroke swimmer who represented Hong Kong as a junior at the Asian Age Group Swimming Championships in Tokyo two years ago. At the All China Secondary School Students' Games in July he won a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay and a bronze in the 4x100m medley relay.
At this month's 50th Hong Kong Macao Inter-ports Swimming Competition, in Macau, he won silver in the 100m breaststroke and was fourth in the 50m breaststroke Damien also won gold in the 4x50m freestyle relay and two silver medals in the a grade boys' 50m and 100m breaststroke Inter-School Championships (Division One Hong Kong and Kowloon) in October.
'I was captain of our school team last year,' Damien said. 'Since our tradition is that students don't hold the title for more than a year, I became team adviser this year. It is interesting to be able to look at the team from another angle.
'At the beginning of preparations for this year's inter-school championships, we thought we would lose the grade A title to St Joseph's College. So we aimed to minimise the points we'd lose in grade A and also strengthen our grade B and C boys' lead. We organised a training camp for our grade C boys, which proved fruitful. Our school team hope to win a 20th consecutive overall swimming title next year; I think we can do it.
'I am now working on my final team duty, which is to organise the poolside party at our school's indoor swimming pool. This will be a celebration of our 20th consecutive overall title won at the inter-school lifesaving competition.
'I halted my training after the inter-school championships in October to prepare for my exams. I now have more time for another hobby - playing piano. Since passing my grade eight exam years ago, I've not had time to touch the keyboard. Now I can play the piano when I feel stressed after long hours studying at home.'
From his coach
'Damien is a talented and loyal member of the school,' says Kenny Yip, the teacher in charge of the swimming team. 'He has vision in planning and has helped to organise training for our junior boys and new students when term starts. His efforts contributed a lot to our team's success this year.'
'I return to the pool for intensive training in April after the HKDSE exam,' Damien says. 'My aim is to qualify for the 2013 East Asian Games and 2014 Asian Games.'