China's gold medallists show off their golden touch in HK

Olympic gold medallists relive the Games and connect with fans at HK sports extravaganza

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 August, 2012, 4:59am

China's Olympic gold medallists were greeted at Queen Elizabeth Stadium yesterday by rapturous applause, as athletes and spectators alike relived the glory of the Games.

Hongkongers Queenie Lam and Catherine Yuen Pui-yiu, who were volunteers at the London Olympics, were among the 4,300 people who watched the demonstrations in sports like badminton, table tennis and diving.

Both girls donned the purple volunteer uniform and badge, catching the attention of star swimmer Sun Yang - winner of the 400-metre and 1,500m freestyle - who pointed at them and tossed them his bouquet.

"In the competition, everyone was fighting passionately for something," Yuen said during the event held at the Kowloon Park swimming pool. "After volunteering and it was all over, it was sad, so we guess this event is extending [our experience]."

Around 70 mainland members of the Chinese team, which had the second-largest medal count at 88, including 38 gold medals, were in Hong Kong for a three-day tour.

Yuen, an 18-year-old law student at Oxford University, helped out at the water polo events, while Lam, a 19-year-old pharmacy student at University College London, assisted in the archery events.

"If I had to be honest, I prefer watching the real Olympics," said Yuen. "It's more serious. Not that this wasn't serious, but in the competition, it's silent."

At the pool, diving superstars including Wu Minxia leaped off the board to demonstrate moves "never seen in competition".

Many in the crowd were euphoric over their country's sporting achievements - a feeling shared by some members of the press. One Xinhua reporter waved her flag so enthusiastically that a local photographer had to point out in Cantonese that she was blocking his lens.

At the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, badminton's "Super Dan" Lin Dan, who won gold in the singles competition, played a match against the Hong Kong team's Wong Wing-ki, who also competed in London.

Lin's smooth backhand strokes and fake serves left badminton fans in awe. But Lin's style this time was not enough to beat Wong, who won the tight seven-point match, to the delight of Hong Kong fans.

Lin then showed off his versatility by playing table tennis with gold medallist Zhang Jike, who sealed a grand slam in the recent Games. Zhang hit the ball back with a badminton racket.

Meanwhile, champion gymnasts spoke to around 900 young people at a special event held at the Siu Sai Wan Sports Centre.

Although not all the athletes got to demonstrate their winning moves, all 47 gold medallists got to show off other talents, such as singing, at an evening extravaganza at Hong Kong Stadium.