Hong Kong win three golds in wushu
Martial artists will return with an impressive medal haul from East Asian Games; the men’s 4x100 metre track relay team head off China for a silver medal
Hong Kong’s wushu team will return from the East Asian Games with an impressive collection of medals after adding three gold, two silver and one bronze to the total in Tianjin yesterday.
Leading the charge at Normal University Arena was Geng Xiaolin, who was crowned the women’s daoshun and gunshu all-around champion, followed by the men’s duilian team. The third gold was captured in sanshou by Li Sone-wai in the men’s 60kg category.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong men’s 4x100 metre relay team won a silver medal in the final track and field event at the Games, beating off rivals China.
Winners Japan were in a class of their own, wrapping up the race in a new Games record of 38.44 seconds. Hong Kong clocked 39.12 with China recording 39.19.
Tsui Chi-ho, who headed off China’s Liang Jiaxiong in the final stages for the silver medal, said the result restored their confidence after they failed to finish in the National Games in Shenyang last month. “The finishing time was far from impressive but we badly needed it after the National Games defeat,” he said.
Geng, who withdrew from the changquan wushu event on Monday night due to illness, was delighted to make a quick recovery and defend her title.
“I wanted to preserve my energy for the all-around as this is my pet event,” she said. “But still it was a big test on my fitness as there was limited recovery time ahead of the second event.”
Although there were only three entries in the event, Geng had to beat strong rival Sun Xiaomei of the hosts in the two-round competition. Both were tied at 9.70 points after the gunshu, but Geng had an excellent performance in the daoshun when she scored 9.70 again while the mainlander managed only 9.61.
Hong Kong also won the duilian four years ago as the hosts; the trio of Cheng Chung-hang, Leung Ka-wai and Leung Cheuk-hei retained their gold after the withdrawal of favourites China. They managed 9.71 points while second-placed South Korea were just 0.01 behind.
In total, Hong Kong will return with three gold, three silver and four bronze medals in wushu from these Games, but the haul still falls short of the five gold, four silver and seven bronze they won as hosts four years ago.
In fencing, Nicholas Choi won a bronze in the men’s individual foil after losing in the semi-finals. On the track, the Hong Kong women’s 4x400 metre relay team captured bronze behind China and Japan in the three-team race.
In badminton, Hong Kong’s women’s team were beaten by Taiwan 3-0 in the semi-finals and had to settle for bronze.
Head coach Tim He Yeming said top singles player Yip Pui-yin needed to improve mentally to make more of an impression at international level. Yip was no match for Taiwan No 1 Tai Tzu-Ying, losing 21-10, 21-15; Chan Tsz-ka in the other singles and women’s doubles pair Poon Lok-yan and Tse Ying-suet also lost in straight games.
“Yip must control her emotion on the court as she is always beaten by her own faults and not by opponents,” said the coach.
“She takes too much responsibility on her own shoulders and whenever she fails to deliver, she starts blaming herself and becomes too tense.”
In the men’s competition which features only five teams, a round-robin format is used. Hong Kong beat South Korea 3-2 yesterday after beating Taiwan by the same score on Monday.