Sarah Lee Wai-sze wins gold for Hong Kong at Asian Games
Track star adds keirin gold in Incheon to her long list of achievements
Sarah Lee Wai-sze won Hong Kong its first medal at the 17th Asian Games, and it was gold too, as she blitzed a strong field in the women’s keirin final on Sunday.
Lee, a bronze medallist in the event at the London Olympic, was in total control as she defeated surprise Malaysian silver medallist Fatehah Binti Mustapa and China’s Zhong Tianshi who had to settle for bronze.
"I didn't realise this was also the first gold for Hong Kong, but I am very happy to have made it," said Lee.
"The campaign is not over yet as I still have the sprint coming up which I also want to win very much.
"I have to keep a peaceful mind in order to continue."
Lee easily won her heat to reach the final, where she was expected to face stiff challenges from the two mainlanders - Zhong and her teammate Lin Junhong. But Lee easily broke away with one lap left and sprinted home for victory.
It was the second Asian Games gold medal for the 27-year-old, who won the 500 metres time trial in Guangzhou in 2010.
She gave high fives with team officials before going on a victory lap with the Bauhinia Flag.
Lee had trained since July in northeast South Korea on a track similar to the one at the outdoor Incheon International velodrome which has an unusual lap distance of 333 metres instead of 250.
Lee, who took up cycling 11 years ago after being identified in the Hong Kong Rising Star’s programme, was full of smiles as she posed for photographers and was garlanded with the gold medal by Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, president of the Hong Kong Olympic Committee.
And her victory will not go unnoticed in government circles with the Secretary for Home Affairs, Tsang Tak-sing, among the large crowd.