Despite not winning any medals at the All China Secondary Schools Students' Games, the Hong Kong athletics team takes home some of its best-ever results in the history of the competition. Young Post met the team at Baotou's Olympic Sports Centre last Thursday.
The Baotou stadium has good facilities for both athletes and spectators. But changing wind direction inside the grounds gave the contestants a tough time.
High jumper Yeung Man-wai finished with 1.66 metres and came eighth in the competition - a historical best for a Hong Kong girl (in terms of ranking, not height) at the Games, and in national junior athletics events. But Man-wai was still disappointed with her performance. 'My personal best is 1.70m and I could have done better ... but I am still OK with the final result,' she said.
The boys' 4x100m relay team came sixth, and also produced a 'best-ever' result. Sprinter Ho Bing-kwan believed pressure and tiredness made local runners slow down in the final.
'We were all tired after competing in individual events,' he said. 'We hope we will do better next time, at the China Intercity Games this October.'
A touching scene took place during the last event. Chan Ka-sin was the sprinter in the last leg of the 4x400m girls' relay race. Already suffering from a leg injury, she also hurt her waist during the race. Clearly in pain, Ka-sin persisted, and finished the entire race despite her injuries. Spectators were very worried as she tried to increase her speed in the last 100m, and eventually collapsed in tears after crossing the finishing line.
She told Young Post: 'I didn't want my teammates to have a bad ranking ... so I forced myself to finish. [By the end,] I couldn't walk. Now my body is back to normal and all I needed was ... some rest.'