athlete of the week

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2012, 12:00am

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Name Yip Ka-ying
School CCC Tam Lee Lai Fun Memorial Secondary School, Tuen Mun
Grade Form Six
Sport Swimming

Achievements Ka-ying, 17, swims breaststroke in the New Territories District Regional Squad, run by the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association. She also competes in local events for Sea Lion Club.

At last July's All-China Secondary Schools Students' Games in Baotou , Inner Mongolia , she was seventh in the 100m breaststroke and part of the team that came fourth in the girls' 4x50m medley relay. That month, she was first in the Division One girls' (aged 15-17) 100m breaststroke in Part Three of Hong Kong's Age Group Short Course Championships.

She has also competed in two Hong Kong Games, in 2009 and 2011. She represented Yuen Long District and won silver in the women's 50m breaststroke in 2009 and bronze in the 200m breaststroke in 2011.

At last year's Tuen Mun District Inter-school Championships, Ka-ying broke the tournament records in winning both the A-grade girls' 50m and 200m breaststroke. At this year's tournament, she set new tournament records in winning both the A-grade girls' 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley, and also won gold in the 4x50m medley relay.

Soundbite 'Sometimes I ask myself, why I train so hard,' Ka-ying says. 'In Tuen Mun, we often train in an outdoor pool. It's freezing in winter, yet we're told the water is heated. In summer, I get a tan, which I hate.

'It's been frustrating when I've not done well, but my successes motivate me to keep training.

'In the past two inter-school tournaments, I set myself a goal to break records in my events. I now hold the A- and B-grade records. I also had C-grade records before they reset the times after they introduced digital timing.

'Last year it felt great to win my first gold medal at the Age Group championships and also swim for Hong Kong for the first time at the students' games.

From her coach 'It's enjoyable teaching Ka-ying,' Tsang Yi-ming, her regional squad coach, says. 'Her short height and slight build are a bit of a disadvantage. But she's very focused in training - always pushing herself - and this ensures she stays competitive.'

Ambitions 'There isn't time to reach the level to represent Hong Kong in internationals,' Ka-ying says. 'I'm having a break for my HKDSE exams. It may take some time to regain my form again. But I'll be patient and hope for more opportunities to compete for Hong Kong in future.'