Will Sarah Lee’s coach Shen Jinkang stay on at the Hong Kong Sports Institute? He’s not saying

The 63-year-old has passed the retirement age of 60 but is already planning for events beyond March 31 when his contract expires

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 6:53pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 11:09pm

Head cycling coach Shen Jinkang remained tight-lipped about his future with his contract at the Hong Kong Sports Institute due to expire at the end of March.

Shen, who attended the incentive awards for Hong Kong’s Rio Olympians last night, said he had yet to make a decision about his future.

“There is still time and I don’t want to discuss this at this stage,” said the coach. “I am very busy at the moment as the track World Cup is due to start in Glasgow early next month.

“We need to secure enough points in all four rounds in order to qualify for the World Championships which is very important for our riders and the sport of cycling.”

Hong Kong will be hosting the track World Championships at the Tseung Kwan O velodrome in April next year and Shen said they needed a good performance in front of the home crowds.

Shen has been cycling’s main coach for more than 20 years and at 63, he has passed the Institute’s retirement age of 60.

The mainland-born Shen has produced some outstanding local cyclists including Sarah Lee Wai-sze, who he coached to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. Before that, he helped Wong Kam-po become one of Asia’s leading road and track cyclists.

Although he has yet to start talks with the Institute, Shen is already preparing for events beyond March 31 when his current two-year contract expires. This includes the 2017 National Games in Tianjin and the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

A senior official at the Institute said Shen would be welcome to continue as head coach, given he has the full support of the Hong Kong Cycling Association.

“We still need his services to lead Hong Kong at the highest level although he has passed the mandatory retirement age,” said the official, who preferred to remain anonymous.

Table tennis veteran Tie Yana, meanwhile, said she would like to continue playing until the 2018 Asian Games.

“I still have the stamina and physique to play at the top level,” said the 37-year-old, who once reached world number three. “The Rio Olympics and the recent World Cup has proven I am still capable and most important I still enjoy the game.”

The table tennis women’s team reached the quarter-finals in the Rio Games and Tie also clinched a top four position the World Cup earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the Jockey Club Charities Trust presented a total HK$4.02 million to Hong Kong Olympians who finished in the top 16 at the Rio Games. Sarah Lee topped the 25 recipient list with a HK$376,000 cash reward.