Lok Kwan-hoi powers to Hong Kong's first-ever rowing gold at Asian Games
Lok Kwan-hoi became the first rower from Hong Kong to win a gold medal in the Asian Games when he clinched victory in the men’s lightweight single sculls today.
In his third Asiad, the 27-year-old finally stood on top of the medal podium after narrowly missing two medal chances in Guangzhou four years ago.
Lok beat Lee Hak-beom of South Korea over the 2,000-metre course in Chungju Tangeum Lake Rowing Centre with a time of seven minutes and 25.04 seconds as the Korean clocked 7:25.95. Third place went to Dushiant Dushyant of India in 7:26.57.
Rowing is Hong Kong’s biggest success so far at the Games, with two more silver medals through Lee Ka-man in the women’s single sculls and Chow Kwong-wing and Tang Chiu-man in the men’s lightweight double sculls.
“It’s so exciting to be the first rowing champion in the Asian Games, I’m very happy,” said Lok.
“I came fourth in both events in Guangzhou but eventually I have made it in Incheon. I strongly believe this is my Games because of our preparation and the hard work and time we have devoted to training.”
In a venue which hosted the 2013 World Championships, Lok took the lead and was able to keep his rhythm despite wet conditions. Dushyant surged to the lead after 500 metres but lacked the stamina and it became a two-horse race between Lok and his Korean rival.
“We have trained in different weather conditions and the rain did not affect us,” said coach Sam Wong Chi-wai. “We have put in a lot of effort since last year, staying in Hong Kong not more than three weeks in between every training camp.
“Lok has been with us since he was a schoolboy and deserves the honour for he is a hard-working rower. We all feel very happy for him.”