See you in Rio: 2016 Olympic cycling spot secured for Hong Kong
Leung Chun-wing is heading for the Games, Sarah Lee’s qualification should not be a problem, and local officials are hoping for a record riding contingent for the Games
Hong Kong have secured one Olympic cycling berth, with several more in the pipeline as officials aim to send a record riding contingent to Rio.
When the road race qualification phase closed at the end of last year, Hong Kong were fifth in the nation rankings on the Asian Tour, just missing the top four spots that carry automatic qualification for the Rio Games.
However, Leung Chun-wing’s fourth-place finish at last year’s Asian Championships was good enough to give Hong Kong the Olympic berth as two of the riders who finished ahead of him are from Iran and Japan, who qualified through the Asian Tour nation rankings.
“This is good news for the squad,” said Cycling Association chairman Leung Hung-tak. “Hopefully we can build on this and push harder for more riders to get to Rio.”
Five Hong Kong riders qualified for the last Olympics: Wong Kam-po, Sarah Lee Wai-sze, Jamie Wong Wan-yiu, Choi Ki-ho and Chan Chun-hing.
“Of course, we want to send more to Rio.But we also understand there are many uncertainties on the road to Rio and we want to at least keep the same number as we had in London,” said Leung.
While Lee’s qualification in the two track events – women’s sprint and keirin – should not present a problem, Hong Kong are likely to qualify in two more track events: men’s and women’s omnium.
If Leung and Diao Xiaojuan can stay strong in the three remaining rounds of the qualifiers, including the final World Cup series in Hong Kong next week, they stand a high chance of joining Lee.
In the mountain bike cross-country, Chan is likely to make his second consecutive Olympic appearance after he finished third in the Asian Championships.
Should Meng Zhaojuan make it in the women’s road race, Hong Kong could send six riders to Rio. To do that, Meng needs to win the Asian Championships in Izu, Japan or finish in the world’s top 100 by the end of May under a special provision. Meng is now 78th.