A biology student from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) who started learning the language just a year ago won the first Inter-university French Speech Competition in the Pearl River Delta. Anne Li impressed judges with a speech on energy use, beating nine finalists in the competition held earlier this month at the University of Hong Kong. The finalists included Year Two and Year Three students from eight universities in Hong Kong and Guangdong who were majoring in French. The contest asked speakers to deliver a 10-minute speech on topics related to the Pearl River Delta. In her speech, Li rejected the use of nuclear power because of its radiation risks, and focused on renewable resources to meet the region's energy needs. 'I was surprised and happy to win the championship,' she said. Preparation was key to her success, Li said. She thanked Jean-Luc Rey, a lecturer at HKBU's language centre who coached her in speech writing and presentation. Li said she fell in love with the language after listening to French songs. 'I learned French because I love French songs. It all began when my father bought me some CDs of French songs several years ago.' Li won a two-week study tour to a French language school in Perpignan, France.