Tang haunted by fifth but overall effort augurs well for team foil

TANG Kwong-hau has a habit of finishing fifth in international events. The Hong Kong Sports Institute scholarship holder finished fifth in the men's individual foil event at the Commonwealth Championships in Canada earlier this year. Yesterday, he achieved a similar result in the same event, finishing fifth, behind Asian powers China, Japan and South Korea, who took the medals respectively. It was the best performance from Hong Kong, who had three fencers in the finals. Along with Tang, Ringo Lo and Wong Tsan also made it through from the preliminary round.

The results must be encouraging for Hong Kong with the team foil event coming up on Thursday. At the Asian Games four years ago in Beijing, the territory won a bronze medal in the team event. In the morning's preliminary round, Tang ended with four wins from his seven bouts.

It propelled him into medal contention. But it was not to be as the Asian giants withstood his game challenge. The territory's gymnasts were also in action. With only two male gymnasts in the Hong Kong team, the territory were ineligible to take part in the team event - which needs a minimum of five competitors - yesterday. But as the team event was the door through which one enters the all-round individual competition, Hong Kong's Lee Tak-ming and Wong Kim-fai swung into action at the Hiroshima Prefectural Sports Centre.

Swung is possibly too strong a word as the duo scrambled around in all six disciplines - the floor exercise, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar. No doubt, it is a tough regime. Thus a relieved coach Chu Kai-ping said: 'It was a creditable performance from the duo. Just to finish all six events without any major problems is a plus.' Lee did his coach proud by qualifying for the all round individual competition with an overall score of 50.850. His best score was in the vault when he managed to conjure up a 9.05.