HK's golden girls steal show

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2006, 12:00am

The Hong Kong girls' team stole the limelight, winning 10 of the 14 gold medals on offer and retaining the title at last weekend's Asian Schools Swimming Championships.

National team member Sze Hang-yu led the way at the Kowloon Park pool, coming first in each of her three individual races, and both relay events.

In the boys' competition, the SAR - the defending champions - remained in the hunt for the title until the last event on the schedule. They needed a first-place finish in the 4x100-metre freestyle relay, and almost achieved it.

The local team, comprising Lau Chung-yu, Wong Kai-wai, Kevin Siu and Macgyver Tse Tsun-ho, produced their best-ever time of 3 minutes, 34.68 seconds, only 0.28 seconds behind the winners, Malaysia.

The relay result meant the Hong Kong boys placed second behind Singapore, who had a strong finish, claiming two gold, two silver and a bronze medal on day three.

'There were some excellent performances, and everybody did their best,' said Hong Kong boys' coach, Tam Ka-po.

'We expected these results. Singapore and Malaysia were strong among boys. For the girls, Sze Hang-yu was outstanding. She won every race she entered.

'I will give a glowing report to national team coach Chan Yiu-hoi, and the [Hong Kong Amateur Swimming] Association, recommending all the swimmers for further training.'

The championships, which cost HK$1.15 million to stage, also featured teams from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Brunei, Macau, and the Philippines.

The SAR girls defended their title in style, winning 10 of the 14 races. Hang-yu won the 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly, and 200m individual medley. She was also a member of the winning 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay teams.

The girls finished with 168 points, 58 clear of second-placed Thailand.

Cheung Ho-yi clinched gold in the 50m and 100m backstroke events, and Sally Tse Kin-hay won both the 100m and 200m breaststroke races. Lee Leong-kwai added another gold medal with victory in the 100m freestyle.

Andy Luk Wing-kin, who won the 200m breaststroke, was the only gold medallist among the boys. The boys also won four silver and five bronze medals. Apart from the 10 gold, the girls won one silver and three bronze medals.