Hong Kong rider Cheung King-lok scores third gold at Asian Championships
Sensational first in individual pursuit for rider, but China pair are too good for golden girl Sarah Lee who settles for bronze in women’s sprint
High-flying Cheung King-lok scored a sensational triumph at the Asian Championships, snatching his third gold medal – the first rider from Hong Kong to do so at the regional event on Friday.
His latest success came in the men’s individual pursuit in which Cheung, who turns 25 next month, totally dominated the field, beating Dias Omirzakov of Kazakhstan twice, both in the heat and the final.
Cheung clocked four minutes and 32.085 seconds in the final, beating his rival by more than five seconds in the 4km race.
“This is very special for me as I have never won a gold medal in the individual pursuit,” said Cheung. “My body is still fine, not too tired and let’s see how it goes on the last day.”
Just last week, Cheung became the first rider from Hong Kong to have won the two road race events – the mass start and individual time trial – at the Asian Championships and he now has a chance of bagging an amazing fourth when he takes part in the madison on Saturday.
Cheung has already won the team event over the last two years, both with compatriot Leung Chun-wing. He also made it with Choi Ki-ho in 2012. Indeed, Hong Kong riders have clinched all five previous madison titles at the regional event.
In the women’s sprint, Sarah Lee Wai-sze managed a consolation bronze medal when she beat Guo Shuang of China in the play-off race. Lin Junhong, another mainlander, defeated Lee in the semi-finals before clinching the gold over Lee Hye-jin of South Korea in the final.
Lee will be keen to make up for her loss as all the top four sprinters meet again in the keirin on Saturday, the last day of the regional championships.
Elsewhere, Diao Xiaojuan is currently second in the women’s omnium after the first three races, four points behind leader Luo Xiaoling of China.
The Hong Kong rider needs points to consolidate her Olympic qualification as the Asian Championships is the penultimate round of qualifying for the Rio Games before the World Championships in London in March.
Her counterpart Leung Chun-wing managed a fifth overall position in the men’s omnium.
Youngster Ma Yin-yu won a silver medal for Hong Kong in the girl’s scratch race.