Olympic hopefuls Ng Ka-fung and Leung Hau-sze both claimed sprint doubles in the Xtep Athletic League at the Wan Chai Sports Ground at the weekend, but Ng's 100m victory nearly ended in disaster after he was brought crashing down just after crossing the finishing line.
Like most of the city's top sprinters, Ng has one eye on Olympic qualification so this year's results are all the more important. But as the weekend's event was the first track meet of the year, times were not expected to be fast. However, it did give the athletes the opportunity to gauge their performance over their nearest rivals.
'My main focus right now is the grand prix events that will take place in China and Thailand in April,' said Ng while nursing grazes to his knees, hips and shoulders after his tumble. 'I need to improve my personal best time quite a lot just to make the B standard [10.24] for the Olympic Games, but I think our sprint relay team has a very good chance of qualification if we do well in the grand prix meets.'
Ng set his personal best of 10.40 seconds in winning the silver medal at the 7th National Intercity Games in Nanchang last year, so he still has some way to go to qualify as an individual athlete for London 2012.
The Hong Kong men's 100m sprint relay team, of which Ng is a member and runs the third leg, is currently ranked 18th in the world with the top 16 automatically gaining a place at the Olympics. Leung is possibly just a decent start away from individual qualification in the women's 100m, as she claims that her start is 'not all that good'.
Now 20, Leung is studying at the Institute of Vocational Education in Sha Tin, but like Ng she trains five times a week. Despite the lack of a decent start, Leung's personal best (11:89) is moving in the right direction of the women's Olympic B standard of 11.38. 'I only work on my start technique once a week, but I know that I can run faster times if I improve my technique,' said Leung, who like Ng spent nearly three weeks in the US last month training and competing against American students.
'We competed in three indoor competitions and my performance in the 60m improved with each one,' added Leung. 'I qualified for the final in the third event, but just missed out on a medal. A good start is needed for the 60m.
'I worked hard all through the winter to prepare for the US trip and I'm hoping that the fitness I built up will help me to improve my times even further this year. I really hope I can qualify for London and I plan to work very hard to try to make it.'