SQUASH

Promising junior Lui Hiu-lam sets her sights on professional career

Fresh from clinching a bronze medal at the British Junior Open, Hong Kong youngster wants to follow in the footsteps of local stars Annie Au and Joey Chan

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 11:12pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 9:09am

Promising Hong Kong junior squash player Lui Hiu-lam already has plans for a professional career after clinching a bronze medal at last month’s British Junior Open.

The 17-year-old is the latest ­local youngster to get a podium finish in the key tournament.

Star senior players Annie Au Wing-chi and Joey Chan Ho-ling did it over a decade ago.

Both Au and Chan are now leading players in the Hong Kong women’s team, with Au a regular in the world’s top 10.

“The success I had in the ­British junior event has given me a strong boost as I know I am as good as any player in the world for my age,” said Lui, who is a fifth form student at Diocesan Girls’ School.

“Of course there is a big gap between junior and senior level where the challenge will be much greater but I am confident of meeting the challenges.”

Coach Leung Kan-fai said Lui has the potential to ­become a top-class player if she continues her progress.

“She is as good as Au and Chan were at that age group and proved to be very competitive in the British event against the top juniors from Egypt, which is now the best country in the world [for squash],” said the coach. “She just needs a bit more toughness mentally ­before she can become a true top-class player and this will come with international exposure.”

Lui will face another challenge next month when she leads the Hong Kong girls’ team at the Bright Smart Securities Asian ­Junior Team Championships in Hong Kong.

Lui, the Asian under-17 number one, will be joined by teammates Cheng Nga-ching, Chan Sin-yuk and Tang Yan-yi where they will face defending cham­pions Malaysia and strong rivals ­India at the Squash Centre in ­Admiralty. Chan won a bronze medal in the under-15 category at the British Junior Open.

Hong Kong will also feature a boys’ team for the regional event, comprising Lai Cheuk-nam, Chan Wui-ki, Chan’s younger brother Chi-ho and Ho Kai-hei.