Mui Ching-yeung's ambition to compete in the 110m hurdles at the Asian Games looks like it will have to be fulfilled in 2019 at the earliest despite his domestic dominance of high hurdling, which included running 14.26 seconds earlier this year to beat the Hong Kong record set by Tang Hon-sing way back in 2004.
The talented 21-year-old, who also holds the Hong Kong junior 110m hurdles record, set the second-fastest time in the heats on Saturday at the Inter-City Athletic Challenge at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, but due to a tight hamstring he had to settle for second in the final behind Taiwan's Yang Wei-ting.
Kwan Kee, chairman of the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association, said it was highly unlikely that Mui would be selected for Incheon in September, as the squad was more or less already complete.
"We're taking 18 athletes this year, including three sprint relay teams, and to be realistic I think our chances of medals will come from those relay squads," he said.
"Mui has done very well this year and we will be keen to see how he progresses."
Fanling-based Mui is in the first year of a two-year multimedia course at the Institute of Vocational Education in Sha Tin.
"Studying and training in Sha Tin is a bonus for me as I don't need to do lots of travelling," he said.
The men's 4x100 metre relay team, who qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Games with the best Asian result, will be Hong Kong's major medal hope, while up-and-coming junior Chan Ming-tai may also have an outside chance in the men's long jump.
There will also be a men's 4x400m relay team and a women's 4x100m team.
"The men's 4x100 team is still a quality outfit, although they have been struggling to regain their form of two years ago," said Simon Yeung Sai-mo, HKAAA senior vice-chairman.
"Japan remain in a class of their own in the relay, while China have two sprinters with times of 10 seconds and 10.06 seconds in the 100 metres. We can compete against the mainlanders if we deliver on the day, while Thailand will be dark horses.
"Chan set an impressive long jump record at the Asian Junior Championships early this month and he may have a chance as well."
At 19, Chan set a Hong Kong senior record with a 7.7-metre jump in Taipei two weeks ago. The first year student at University of Hong Kong will take part in the World Junior Championships in the United States next month before fine-tuning his form for the Incheon Games.