Hong Kong diver Xie Zhen outraged at poor training support

Xie Zhen wins silver in one-metre springboard, but lashes out at Hong Kong authorities

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 10:38am


Diver Xie Zhen criticised authorities for a lack of venue support after capturing his first medal in a multi-sport games since arriving in Hong Kong four years ago.

The 20-year-old was considered one of the best juniors on the mainland before he and his father moved to Hong Kong in 2009 through the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme.

Despite only one practice session over the past two weeks, Xie still came second in yesterday's one-metre springboard event with 363.05 points, behind Peng Jianfeng of China (418.95).

"We tried to book a training venue after returning from last month's National Games in Shenyang but no venue was available," said Xie. "In the end, we only had one practice session before coming [to Tianjin] and this is hardly believable.

"We decided to move to Hong Kong because we thought there would be more opportunities so that we could contribute to Hong Kong diving.

"But we've found the environment very unfavourable."

Xie first represented Hong Kong at last year's Asian Championships in Dubai where he won bronze in the three-metre springboard. Before coming to Hong Kong, he won a world junior title in the 10-metre platform in Germany in 2007 when representing China. "In Hong Kong I find it difficult to maintain the standard I had in China," said Xie.

He now trains only three days a week in Hong Kong and has had to shift to the springboard from the 10-metre platform, which was his preferred event.

In wushu, Cheng Chung-hang had to settle for bronze after losing to South Korea's Cho Seung-jae by just one-hundredth of a point in the men's daoshu and gunshu all-around. Wushu also gained two more bronze medals later. Hong Kong won a silver and a bronze in sports dance, while the taekwondo team earned a bronze.

In soccer, Hong Kong goalkeeper Tsang Man-fai made a number of acrobatic saves to hold hosts China to a goalless draw in their opening match.

Tsang, who has yet to make his First Division appearance for Southern this season, hoped his performance would help him regain a regular place in the line-up for his club.