High jumper Cecilia Yeung ready to take on world after successful Asian stint
The glamour athlete wraps the season up with podium finish in Ashgabat after winning medals in every Asian event she took part in this year
High jumper Cecilia Yeung Man-wai is ready to raise her game and compete at world level after wrapping up her season with medals in all Asian events she entered this year.
Having celebrated her 23-year-old birthday with a bronze medal at the Asian Indoor Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Monday, the glamour athlete – a student at the University of Hong Kong – has made giant strides in her event over the past 12 months.
“It’s more than just ending the season with a medal in Ashgabat but the achievements I have made over this period are what count,” said Yeung, who has a huge following in Hong Kong because of her role as a part-time model. “A year ago I came from nowhere to enter the Asian arena where I have won medals in every regional event I took part in.
“I know I could have done better in some competitions but still the results are significant. In fact, I wasn’t in very good form entering the Indoor Games but was still able to hang in there to finish with a medal.
“I might have lost it under the same circumstances before but I didn’t as I have settled down in competitions. Now the next target is to move on gradually on to the world stage.”
Yeung only cleared 1.7 metres when she first took part in the Asian Indoor Championships in Doha last year but she soared past 1.83 metres in Ashgabat.
She also snatched a silver medal at the Asian Championships in India in July after taking part in all three Asian Grand Prix series events, winning one bronze and one silver in the first two legs respectively before clinching a gold in the last leg in Taipei, where she shattered her own Hong Kong record with 1.88 metres.
Yeung also twice cleared 1.84 metres at the World University Games and the China National Games before the Asian Indoor Games but was unable to win a medal.
“It has been quite a hectic season and I really want to take a break and get back to studies, but I know there is plenty of room for improvement, technically as well as my physical condition before I set foot on the world stage,” she said.
With the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia approaching as well as a qualification campaign for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Yeung faces a massive task in fulfilling her dream of competing at the highest level.
“The Tokyo qualification target will be higher than the 1.92-metre mark for the 2016 Rio Olympic but if she can keep focused, she definitely has a chance because she is still young with plenty of room for development,” said Simon Yeung Sai-mo, senior vice-chairman of the Amateur Athletic Association.