Hong Kong’s Chan Chun-hing brings down the curtain on his career with best Olympic finish in Rio

The 35-year-old biker is the last Hong Kong athlete to compete in Rio and carries the flag at the closing ceremony

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 August, 2016, 11:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 August, 2016, 8:48pm

Hong Kong mountain biker Chan Chun-hing bade goodbye to last Olympics in Rio by pushing himself to the limit and crossing the finish line in his best ever Olympic performance.

The 35-year-old biker was the last Hong Kong athlete to compete in the Rio Olympics and was the flag bearer at the Rio Olympics closing ceremony.

He earned himself a 32nd-place finish completing the 4.84-kilometre course in one hour, 44 minutes and 41 seconds.

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The three-time Olympian finished in 40th place at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 38th at the London Games.

“When I was on the last lap, I felt that I was going to miss this,” said Chan, who has decided to retire from the sport. “But as much as I knew I was going to miss it, I have decided not to go on (as an athlete) anymore. I have spent a long time thinking about this before making the final decision.”

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The mountain bike course requires riders to trudge through varying terrain, as well as jump off rocks and ride down steep inclines.

Switzerland’s Nino Schurter took gold, finishing in 1:33.28.

“The course was not as difficult as I expected, although of course I’m not saying it was easy! It was raining and there were a lot of bikers in the race, it would be easy to crash,” Chan said.

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“I have not really thought about what I will do when I am back home. For now I just want to spend time with my family and be with my son.”

Chan won silver at the 2014 Asian Games.

His coach, Shen Jinkang, said he knew a few promising young bikers but they have yet to commit themselves to full-time training.

“Taking part in the Olympics requires huge commitment,” Shen said.

Chan said earlier he has made a lot of sacrifices to make it to Rio. For seven to 10 months each year, he has to be away from Hong Kong and his family to train.