Major breakthrough as Yang Qianyu snatches gold at Asian Cycling Championships
Hong Kong ace swoops past her rivals in the final sprint to win the gruelling 89.6km road race in Bahrain and become the first Hong Kong woman to capture gold in the event
Just like Sarah Lee Wai-sze has excelled on the velodrome, Hong Kong teammate Yang Qianyu is beginning to show her prowess as a classy road racer after she made a breakthrough by winning gold at the Asian Championships in Bahrain on Tuesday.
Lee has been carrying the banner for Hong Kong for years, but Yang, who turns 24 next week, could be the answer to the Hong Kong Cycling Association’s prayers of having a potential world-beater on the road in Yang.
Yang became Hong Kong first-ever women’s road race gold medallist at the tourney to make it a golden day for Shen Jinkang’s charges. In the same race, Hong Kong’s other riders, Meng Zhaojuan finished 10th while compatriot Diao Xiaojuan was 12th.
Earlier in the regional competition in the Middle East, Pang Yao won a silver medal in the women’s individual time trial while Cheung King-lok finished third in the men’s time trial. Cheung also led the Hong Kong team to capture a bronze medal in the men’s team time trial.
But Yang made it a day to remember for herself and her team as she powered away from her two rivals in the final sprint of the gruelling 89.6km race before crossing the finish line the clear winner.
The Hong Kong ace rider completed the race in two hours 32 minutes and 50 seconds, the same time as silver medallist Na Ah-reum of South Korea, the 2014 Asian Games time trial champion and third-placed Miho Yoshikawa of Japan, who rides for professional team Bizkaia-Durango of Spain.
“It’s a major breakthrough for our women’s road team and hopefully we can achieve more in future under head coach Shen Jinkang,” said Leung Hung-tak, chairman of Hong Kong Cycling Association.
Shen recently had his contract with the Sports Institute extended by another two years despite passing the mandatory retirement age of 60.