Wong Kam-po may carry on competing for Hong Kong
Veteran cyclist Wong Kam-po may continue to compete after the East Asian Games as the former Hong Kong ace ponders his future.
The 80-kilometre road race which starts Sunday in Tuanbo Lake, southwest of Tianjin, was set to be the last race for the 40-year-old veteran after he was recalled by head coach Shen Jinkang to the squad this summer.
“The winner of this year’s Vuelta de Espana was 41,” said Wong, who will lead a four-member squad in the two-lap criterium race. “I can still regain my form if I am given ample time and compete in next year’s Asia Tour, but in the end, it is up to the head coach to decide.”
The three-time Asian Games road race champion ended his career earlier this year to join Hong Kong's coaching set-up, but came back to competition for last month’s National Games as they needed an experienced rider during the transition period.
“I don’t mind in which position as long as I can serve Hong Kong cycling,” said Wong. “Either as a coach or a rider, I am still happy to contribute my best.”
Hong Kong won all three medals in the men’s road race as the hosts four years ago, but it won’t be the same in Tianjin.
“The road race team is undergoing a transition period and hosts China and South Korea are always strong in the event,” said Wong. “But both Kwok Ho-ting and Cheung King-lok are top quality and can put up a close fight. Also, the flat course will make it very competitive and it is difficult to predict the result.”
Ace track rider Sarah Lee Wai-sze, meanwhile, has to shrug off the effects of flu she suffered before arriving in Tianjin.
“She stopped training for three days when she was in Guangzhou,” said Shen. “She has recovered but is racing against time to peak for the Games.”
There are only three track events in the Games – individual sprint, time trial and individual pursuit. Lee will take part in the time trial, in which she holds the Asian record, but will face strong compteition from China's Zhong Tianshi, the 200-metre world record holder.
In the individual sprint, her major rival will be mainlander Lin Junhong, the newly crowned National Games champion.