HONGKONG tennis prodigy Willy Chan showed her potential by reaching the quarter-final of her second professional tournament, the US$10,000 (HK$78,000) Brunei satellite.
The 15-year-old Pentecostal Lam Hon Kwong School student overcame a slow start to stop highly regarded Filipino Francesca L'ea 5-7, 7-5, 6-1.
Chan, the territory's top ranking woman player despite her tender age, will be out for revenge when she meets Kim Soo-mi of South Korea in the quarter-final round.
Kim defeated Chan in the semi-finals of the Bangkok satellite last year when the young Hongkong player was making her debut in a professional event.
Coach Mark Bailey was delighted with Chan's success and is confident she will soon acquire a Women's Tennis Association (WTA) world ranking. ''Willy has made a great start on the professional circuit, having reached a semi-final and now a quarter-final in only two satellite tournaments,'' said Bailey.
''She needs to play in three more events to get a world ranking and judging by her recent performances, she should be fairly high on the list once she completes the five-tournament minimum requirement.'' ROWING Former Pui Ying College teacher Ho Kim-fai is making great strides to establish herself as Asia's top woman sculler when she beat her own national eight-kilometre record during the winter sculling trials on the Shing Mun River in Sha Tin.
Ho, silver medallist in both singles and doubles sculls at last year's Asian Championships, beat the 40-minute barrier for the first time when she stopped the clock at 39 minutes and 57 seconds.
The effort was a 30-second improvement on the Hongkong record she set only six weeks ago.
The winter sculling trials are held every two weeks until the Hongkong rowing squad leaves for a training camp in Italy in April.
Ho, however, will be missing the next two trials as she has gone to Shaoqing to train with the Guangdong provincial team under the guidance of China's national coach Gao Jingping.
GOLF Teenage golfing sensation Scott Rowe became the second player to retain the Hongkong Closed amateur title, winning the crown by a record victory margin of 12 strokes at the Royal Hongkong Golf Club in Fanling.
The 17-year-old Hongkong International School pupil already got his name in the record book last year by being the youngest champion in the 13-year history of the tournament.
Rowe returned a steady three-over-par 73 to take the first round lead and never looked back although he dropped shots at the opening two holes of the second round, in which he posted a 75.
His first-day score of 148 over the two rounds put him six strokes clear of veteran Kan Wai-chung. He again fired a solid 73 in the morning session of the second day, an effort which virtually sealed the title for him as Kan recorded a 79 and dropped out of contention.
Moving into second position eight strokes behind Rowe was his international teammate Doug Williams, who also carded a 73 third round. With such a commanding advantage, the pressure was taken off Rowe and he was able to maintain a smooth tempo for an impressive one-under 69.
His 72-hole aggregate of 290 put him 12 strokes clear of second-placed Williams, the biggest winning margin ever for the annual tournament.
RUNNING Junior middle distance runner Simon Parsons demonstrated his potential by running third overall in the nine-kilometre BUPA race at The Peak, but easily winning the 14 to 18 years division.
Parsons was always among the front runners and gave the experienced Wong Ip-chor and Nick Helms a stiff challenge before weakening in the closing stages.
Wong was the first to cross the line in 31 minutes and 17 seconds with Helms only six seconds away. But Parsons must be credited for a very bold effort to finish in 31 minutes and 58 seconds.
Runner-up in the junior section was Chow Chi-keung in 34 minutes and 28 seconds, narrowly pipping Chan Man-for at the tape. James Hagger won the boys' under-13 category in 45 minutes and 31 seconds from Lam Chiu-wah and Stephen Hawkes.
Rachel Duckham was the pick of the bunch in the girls' division, winning the under-13 race in a sterling time of 41 minutes and 46 seconds. She was almost five minutes in front of Rebecca Ha with Laura Martin third.
Emma Clough edged top junior triathlete Siu-Anne Gill by the narrowest of margin in the 14 to 18 years division, posting a winning time of 46 minutes and three seconds. Wong Pik-wai was a distant third more than 11 minutes behind.