Hong Kong high jump ‘Beauty’ Cecilia Yeung narrowly misses out on a bronze at National Games
The 22-year-old athlete clears the same height as the third placed athlete but settles for fifth place on a countback
High jumper Cecilia Yeung Man-wai narrowly missed out on a medal at the National Games despite clearing the same height as the bronze medallist at Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium on Sunday night.
Yeung, who is affectionately known as Hong Kong’s athletic “beauty” because of her modelling work, cleared 1.84 metres in the final after three unsuccessful attempts at 1.87 metres. Deng Siyi of Sichuan and Wang Xueyi of Shanghai also cleared the same mark.
But Deng was awarded the bronze medal because she took fewer attempts at clearing the height, while the Hong Kong athlete finished a disappointing fifth. Wang Yang of Liaoning and Fujian’s Zheng Xingjuan both cleared 1.9 metres but Wang won the gold medal, also on a countback.
Yeung also cleared 1.84 metres at the World University Games last month when she finished eighth in Taiwan. The result, however, failed to match her Hong Kong record of 1.88 metres set at the Asia Grand Prix series in April.
Yeung was disappointed for having missed out on the medal, saying she was in great shape to break her own record in Tianjin, but became too excited after the qualifying round – and stayed awake at night.
Watch: Hong Kong’s Lui Lai-yiu (far left) in the semi-finals of 100m women’s hurdles
“The qualification was held the day before and I could not sleep well after the competition,” said the 22-year-old. “I was still awake at 2am in the morning and although I felt my form was fine, I just could not make it in the competition. But on the positive side, I cleared 1.84 metres on two occasions [University Games and National Games] which means technically I am quite stable in my jumps.”
Yeung will have another attempt at glory at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan in two weeks.
Meanwhile, Kenneth To King-him reached the men’s 100 metre freestyle final, 48 hours after winning his silver medal in the relay. The Hong Kong record holder finished in second place in his semi-final with a time of 49.61 seconds, falling short of his best time of 49.39 set at the World University Games in Taiwan last month. To won the first swimming medal for Hong Kong at the National Games when he joined three Zhejiang sprinters, including multi-world champion Sun Yang, to finish second in the 4x100 metre freestyle relay.
Sun Yang did not take part in the 100 metres and it was another former world champion, Ning Zetao of Henan, who topped the semi-finals rankings. He was the only swimmer to have swum under 49 seconds in a time of 48.11. Ning won the event at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, the first Asian swimmer to accomplish the task in the sprinting event. He suffered a disappointing Rio Olympic Games campaign and there were rumours he retired from the sport.
In equestrian, Jacqueline Siu Wing-ying also reached the final in the individual dressage with an impressive performance in the intermediate 1 competition. Siu, who came fourth at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, scored 69.692 points to put her in third place. Only the top 12 riders in the competition will be allowed to contend for medals when they start in the intermediate 1 freestyle on Monday.
Also in the final will be hurdler Lui Lai-yiu, who finished fourth in the women’s 100 metre hurdles semi-finals and barely made it through as the eighth qualifier. Lui thanked her two races at the World University Games, which helped raise her form in time for the National Games as her finishing time of 13.61 seconds in Tianjin was already very close to her personal best of 13.56.