Kwok Ho-ting and Jamie Wong bag golds at International Track Cup meeting
Mainland rivals gang up on Olympic star Sarah Lee Wai-sze on final day of action at Tseung Kwan O velodrome
Kwok Ho-ting saved the best for last as he won the men's scratch race on the final day of the Hong Kong International Track Cup, but Sarah Lee Wai-sze was again denied a gold by mainland rivals in the women's keirin final.
Rejoining the Hong Kong team only last month, Kwok, the 2011 world champion in the same event, had to dig deep to win the 15-kilometre, 60-lap race at the UCI Class I event in Tseung Kwan O on Sunday.
"I was only 70 per cent of my best. It was tough," said Kwok. "I tried my best to hang in there in the closing stages, which reminded me of some of the best moments I had when I won the world title a couple of years ago.
"Nonetheless, the victory will give me confidence when I kick off my first World Cup campaign of the season in Mexico next week."
Fellow Hong Kong team member Jamie Wong Wan-yiu claimed her third gold medal of the three-day event with victory in the women's points race. The 27-year-old, currently third in the world standings, should now return to the top of the rankings, at least temporarily.
In the keirin final, which featured six riders, Lee was victim of team tactics by the four mainland opponents. Shi Jingjing blocked her all the way, allowing Lin Junhong and Han Jun to break away. In the final sprint, Lee finally got past Han to finish second.
"It was a good experience," said Lee. "The Chinese riders worked very well together and in the end I had to settle with a silver."
Lee also lost to a mainlander in the sprint final the previous day when she lodged a protest against winner Zhong Tianshi for blocking her way, but the judges upheld the result.
Despite capturing only one gold medal, in the time trial, Lee was still pleased to have raced in front of the home crowds over the three-day event. "My family members, former teachers and schoolmates all came to support me and this cannot happen when I race overseas," she said. "The atmosphere got better and better after each day, and I hope more people will come when we race here again in future."
Coach Shen Jinkang said the event had been a good opportunity for his young riders.
"They don't have too many chances of racing at international level and should have gained a lot of exposure through this event," he said.