Showjumper Patrick Lam Lap-suen won Hong Kong's second gold medal at the 11th National Games in Jinan, Shandong, yesterday with a flawless performance in the men's individual competition.
Lam, riding Forrester Boy, was the only rider to have two clear rounds, and upstaged the 19 other riders from seven provinces to win Hong Kong a first-ever gold medal in the sport at the National Games.
'I'm absolutely delighted and really proud to win this medal,' said Lam. 'This is the first time that I'm taking part in the National Games and to win a gold medal is a dream.'
Lam's Hong Kong teammate Kenneth Cheng Man-kit claimed the bronze - in a jump-off - to leave the local equestrian team on top of the world. Last week, Hong Kong - Lam, Cheng, Samantha Lam and Jacqueline Lai - won the bronze medal in the team showjumping event.
Yesterday's gold and bronze medals took Hong Kong's overall tally to seven medals at the National Games. Cyclist Wong Kam-po won the other gold medal in the road race on Monday, while cycling also netted a silver (Chan Chun-hing in the men's mountain bike) and a bronze (Alex Hunter in the BMX). Daniel Lee Chi-wo won a bronze in triathlon.
'To finish with a gold and two bronze medals in the equestrian competition is superb and it shows the money the Hong Kong Jockey Club has invested in us is worth it,' Patrick Lam said. 'My next target now is the Asian Games in Guangzhou next year.'
The 26-year-old Lam and the other riders are all sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which last December put HK$50 million into the team so that they did not have to worry about finding funds for training and competition.
These funds helped Lam transport his horse, which he bought two years ago in Holland, to China for the Games. Lam had also excelled at the Olympics last August when he finished the best of the Hong Kong riders, having even been tied for first place at the end of the preliminaries.
'In the Olympics I was riding against some of the best horses in the world. But today the quality of horses was more second and third tier. But I'm still so proud to have won for Hong Kong,' said Lam, who was born in Graz, Austria, to an Austrian mother and a father from Hong Kong.
'I'm so happy for my parents, my trainers and the Jockey Club. I have to thank them all for giving me all the support in the world,' Lam added.