On the ropes: Hong Kong skipping champ felled by mainlander, 11, vows revenge

Local world champ’s glory years end after pre-teen mainlander takes his crown in Dubai

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 December, 2015, 8:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 December, 2015, 8:17pm

China has snatched a world record from a Hongkonger, fiercely defended since 2012, in rope skipping.

Mainland skipper Cen Xiaolin, 11, set a new three-minute skipping record with 548 skips, 18 more than the old world record set in July, 2012 by Hongkonger Timothy Ho Chu-ting, 20.

WATCH: Cen Xiaolin break the world rope skipping record in a blur of speed

Cen, who is studying in a primary school located at a remote village in Guangzhou, also set a new record in the 30-second category with 110 counts in the World Inter School Rope Skipping Championships in Dubai.

Ho said he was shocked after watching the clip.

“I first saw the news on WeChat. I felt pressure after watching the clip,” said the Tai Po-based skipper.

“I attended a national championship in the mainland last April and spotted this young kid. We were in different age group but he already achieved 530 counts in three minutes that time. This time he was doing even better and reached a new peak.”

Cen achieved my skipping target

“What he achieved was also my target for this year. Sadly I am not making much progress after the World Rope Skipping Championships at home last year because of some old injuries on [my] wrists and ankles.”

Ho, who is the first Asian to win the world title in the three-minute category, said the low centre of gravity of Cen may help him skip fast.

“Being short in height may help skip faster. I am not a tall guy and I am at 1.55m. I think Cen is at about 1.4m and he is using a shorter rope, which should take shorter time to complete a cycle.”

Face off in Sweden, 2016

Ho is expected to have a face off with Cen at the World Championships in Sweden next year.

“My target is to challenge this new record in that competition. I am confident that I can reach 560 to 570 counts if I practise every day. His achievement motivated me.”

WATCH: Timothy Ho Chu-ting sets the bar in 2014

State-run mainland media trumpeted Cen’s win, with stories in Chinese on The People’s Daily and video posted on CCTV and Xinhua.

Cen told the People’s Daily that he didn’t love the sport at first.

READ MORE: Athlete jumps at the chance to set new skipping record

“But I fell in love gradually, because there are so many freestyle ways. It is full of fun,” he said.

Cen’s teacher said he watched more than 200 videos of rope skipping around the world before inventing the best way of executing the skips for his students.