Encouraging win for Olympics hopeful

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 February, 2004, 12:00am

Olympics-bound 13-year-old swimming prodigy Yvonne Yip Tsz-wa was one of the six winners in the Potential category at Monday night's Sports Stars Awards at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Heep Yunn School student, who dominated the 2003 Hong Kong and Kowloon Inter-School Division One Swimming Championships in November, was recognised for her outstanding efforts in the pool last year. She was nominated for the award by the Schools Sports Federation.

Along with the $8,000 cash prize and trophy, the breaststroke ace also picked up a share of the $30,000 cash prize presented by AIA to the top point scorers in each category.

Tsz-wa and table-tennis player Leung Chu-yan, who were the joint top scorers in their category, will share the prize.

'Tsz-wa had no idea she would win and she was thrilled to learn that she was the top points scorer in that section,' said her father Patrick Yip Wai-ming.

'She said winning it makes her want to try harder and win even more competitions. She was very happy and wants to thank her coaches for helping her so much. We are very proud of her and will continue to give her all our support in whatever she chooses to do,' said Mr Yip.

Tsz-wa broke the Hong Kong record for the 100-metre breaststroke in the Asian Age Group championships last year. Her time of 1 minute 13.02 seconds potentially qualifies her for the Athens Olympics. Unless any other local swimmer can do better at the Olympic Trials next month, Tsz-wa will go to Athens as there is only one place for Hong Kong in the 100m breaststroke event.