Wushu wonders strike gold for HK

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2005, 12:00am

'Rolling in the air like that was like falling from a height of over two metres. It required a lot of power'

Hong Kong's wushu team enjoyed a fruitful day yesterday, emerging with a haul of one gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

To Yu-hang, 24, skipped his individual events yesterday in order to conserve his energy for the last event of the wushu finals - men's duilian (group fight). To and his teammates, Chan Siu-kit and Chow Ting-yu, performed a spectacular fight featuring multiple 540-degree and 360-degree turns in the air.

'Rolling in the air like that was like falling from a height of more than two metres,' said Chow Ting-yu. 'It required a lot of power, and it is not something that other countries can do so far.'

The same trio had previously won silver medals in the international and Asian wushu championships in duilian, losing both times to China. Yesterday, China did not participate, increasing Hong Kong's chances of winning.

'When the three of us first started co-operating, we used to argue a lot. That's probably why the fight looked quite real,' To Yu-hang joked. 'We studied the moves of some of the top teams in China, incorporating them into our own strengths,' Chan Siu-kit added.

Although To had a chance to win an individual medal in the men's daoshu and gunshu (sword and stick) all-round, he said his sacrifice was worth it.

'With an injured knee, even if I did well in my personal events, my performance in this group event could have been compromised,' To said. 'I was not about to take that risk and impact my teammates.'

Scoring 9.57, the Hong Kong trio won comfortably over Taiwan and Macau, who scored 9.4 and 9.15 respectively.

The women's duilian team - comprising Amy Wong Wun-yee, Peggie Ho Pak-kei and Law Sum-yin - displayed their co-operative spirit in a dramatic fight of spears and double sword.

Only three teams entered the competition, so Hong Kong were guaranteed a medal. The trio scored 9.65, losing by a narrow margin to Macau's Han Jing and Huang Yanhui, who scored 9.69. The bronze went to Taiwan, who scored 9.55.

Adding to the pride of Hong Kong's wushu team was a bronze in women's nangun (south stick) and nandao (south sword) all-round. Angie Tsang Sze-man, 27, manoeuvred her weapons fast and forcefully.

Because taolu events in wushu allow for a lot of personal interpretation of the martial arts' hundreds of styles, Tsang admitted that she was still developing her own.

'A fast and forceful style is what I am comfortable with,' she said.

Hong Kong suffered a disappointing opening day in tenpin bowling as the players returned empty handed from the Bowling Centre in the COTAI International Sports Complex yesterday.

None of the 10 bowlers taking part in the singles event came close to winning a medal.

Wu Siu-hong, who won two gold medals at the last Games in Osaka, finished 18th out of a field of 47 competitors with a score of 1,237, while in the women's event, Vanessa Fung Suet-yee was 19th out of 35 with 1,173. Hong Kong's best performance came from Yiu Man-yau in the men's event when he scored 1,281 and came 11th, while Cheung Chung-hing was one place behind with 1,273.

Kang Hee-won of South Korea won the men's event with a score of 1,505 while Japan's Masatoki Yoshinao came second with 1,378. Another Korean Joung Seoung-ju was third with 1,354.

South Korea dominated the entire singles events as they also came first in the women's event with Gye Min-young winning the singles with a score of 1,350. Tsai Hsin-yi of Taiwan came second with 1,348 as another Korean Kim Hyo-mi finished third with 1,322.

The SAR team had high hopes before the games with the presence of Wu and other promising bowlers in the squad. And coach Sidney Allen admitted after the match that they had a disappointing day.

'At every event we go to, we believe we have a chance to win a medal, but today I would say I was a bit disappointed with the results,' said Allen. 'South Korea and Japan came here as the powerhouses and they showed their stuff today. We were playing the best teams and they deserve the medals.'

In tennis, Yu Hiu-tung reached the men's quarter-finals after defeating Baatar Oyunbold of Mongolia in straight sets 6-1, 6-0 yesterday and will face South Korea's Kwon Oh-hee for a place in the semi-finals.

Another Hong Kong representative Wayne Wong Wing-luen lost to Japan's Matsui Toshihide 6-0, 6-1 in the other first round match.

However, Wong and Yu combined well in the doubles as they thrashed Macau's Lei Hou-in and Wong Chi-ko 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round and will face Taipei's Lee Hsin-Han and Liu Tai-Wei in their next match.

In the women's singles, Hong Kong's leading player Lam Po-kuen also went through to the second round after she cruised over Macau's Che Puiman 6-0, 6-0 to set up a match against Japan's Namigata Junri today.

In men's basketball, Hong Kong opened their account by defeating Mongolia 75-67 at the Tao Sec Multisport Pavilion yesterday.

In hockey, Hong Kong beat Macau 2-0 last night to score their first victory after losing to China in their opening match.