Ada Tsang Yin-hung won accolades four years ago when she became the first Hong Kong woman to scale the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. She now has risen to even greater acclaim with what is believed to be the fastest ever ascent to the summit by a female climber. Her time of 25 hours and 50 minutes, if verified, would beat the previous record by more than 13 hours. Inspiring feats of determination and success are exactly what we need as we look for a way beyond the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions that have changed lives so much over the past 18 months. The coronavirus was surely on Tsang’s mind as she trained for and set out on her ascent. Nepal is battling its worst spike in cases and two teams among the scores given permits this climbing season have already cancelled expeditions due to outbreaks among members. She was also only too aware of the risk of altitude sickness and avalanches on the mountain, which is 8,848.86 metres (29,031.69 feet) high. Her first two attempts to scale Everest in 2014 and 2015 were defeated by rock and ice falls that each time killed more than a dozen fellow climbers; in the second, she suffered a fractured skull. But Tsang, 44, a former secondary school teacher, would appear to thrive on challenges and risk. Her training and experience paid off in 2017 when she made it to the top of Everest. She had quit her job to attain the feat, which she had done in part to prove to her former students that failure should never get in the way of fulfilling dreams. Should Guinness World Records verify her latest achievement, accomplished on Monday, she will have again led by example. Hong Kong has a proud record of women athletes shining on the world stage. Among them are windsurfer Lee Lai-shan, a three-time world champion and the city’s first and only Olympic gold medallist, and Sarah Lee Wai-sze, who won Hong Kong’s first Olympic cycling medal, a bronze, in London in 2012. It takes determination and countless hours of training to reach the pinnacle of any field of endeavour; Tsang has literally joined them by also climbing to the top of women’s mountaineering with what would seem to be a world-beating time for climbing Everest. As we strive to overcome the coronavirus, this is welcome inspiration.