Aiming high: Hong Kong rowing coach Chris Perry eyes world or Olympic medal before his job is done

After 20 years in the job, Perry still believes his HK rowing team can compete at the sport’s pinnacle

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 August, 2016, 8:39am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 August, 2016, 5:26pm

Hong Kong rowing coach Chris Perry says his job in Hong Kong is not finished as he targets a medal at a senior world championship or Olympics.

The Englishman has been part of the rowing set-up in Hong Kong for more than two decades and he said there was still much to do having built the programme from scratch.

The Hong Kong men’s lightweight doubles scullers, Chiu Hin-chun and Tang Chiu-mang, were fighting it out for 19th place at the Lagoa Stadium while the women’s pair of Lee Ka-man and Lee Yuen-yin were in the mix for 13th to 18th place.

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Perry’s career highlight was gold in the 2014 Asian Games through Lok Kwan-hoi but he is setting his sights higher.

“It has been a dream to build up the programme from nothing until when we won a gold medal at the last Asian Games,” said Perry, who is married to Ho Kim-fai, the 1994 Asian Games silver medallist.

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“But I feel the job is not done until we get a senior world championship or Olympic medal.

“I was asked if Hong Kong athletes are capable to do so and my answer is yes. Just need more depth of talent and more internal competition. And a little more time.”

The Hong Kong rowers have been struggling with the conditions in Rio, with strong winds chopping up the waters and giving all teams problems.

The men finished fourth out of four in their repechage on Thursday behind Switzerland, Turkey and Chile in a time of seven minutes 33.47 seconds – 11 seconds behind the winners.

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The women finished second in their race behind Great Britain, in a time of 8:14.17, 15 seconds behind the winners. They were ahead of Vietnam and Cuba.

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“The boys were a bit unlucky today as huge winds blew up just for last two races,” said Perry. “They caught a few big waves in first 500 and could not regain momentum in what was the faster of the two semis.

“Girls rowed their best race so far. Second behind the British crew who were Olympic champions in London, and beat the Vietnamese crew who had knocked us out at the qualification regatta.”