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2020 Summer Olympics

Opponents running scared of Hong Kong high jump star Cecilia Yeung Man-wai

Local record holder forced to compete in junior event at Asia Inter-City Championships on Saturday as competitors fail to turn up at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 June, 2017, 5:52pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 5:28pm

It is clear no one is willing or capable of meeting the challenge presented at the moment by Cecilia Yeung Man-wai, with the Hong Kong high jumper forced to compete in the junior event at the Asia Inter-City Championships on Saturday as her opponents failed to turn up at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground.

Intending to use the outing to fine tune her form ahead of next month’s Asian championships in India, Yeung was disappointed to find her three opponents in the women’s high jump opted to skip the two-day event that also features 15 overseas teams from the region.

Faced with no competition, it was decided Yeung would compete in the junior event, but that 22-year-old would not be eligible for a medal.

But Yeung still put on an impressive display, starting at 1.70 metres and progressing to 1.83m until her three attempts at 1.86m failed.

Hong Kong’s Cheung Ching-laam was awarded the gold medal with a jump of 1.66m, while Lin Juan of China and Lai Yan-hei of Hong Kong second and third respectively having reached the same height but via more attempts.

“The situation was a bit strange, but fortunately I could still benefit from the good atmosphere even if it was not a full competition,” said Yeung.

“I could still feel my form is fine despite my failure at 1.86 metres. There is room for improvement.

“But the most important thing is to maintain a steady performance and in fact I have finished all my events over 1.8 metres so far this season which is the standard for Asia.

“Of course, my target is to do well in major tournaments, especially the three forthcoming events – the Asian championships, World University Games and the National Games.”

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Yeung said she felt no pressure despite her 1.88m Hong Kong record, which she set in Taiwan in May, having attracted a lot of media attention as several TV crews and photographers were at Tseung Kwan O on Saturday.

“This is a good result and more people including the media will come and watch me,” she said. “This is normal, but I pay little attention to other things when I focus on my jump. I am not under any sort of pressure.”

Meanwhile, Chan Ming-tai was not too disappointed with a silver medal despite a mediocre 7.5-metre finish in the men’s long jump.

“I’m trying a new technique by slowing my pace a bit to help me consolidate my finish at around eight metres,” said the Hong Kong record holder of 8.12 metres. “I came close today but unfortunately each time I did well I was fouled by just a few centimetres. It takes time to get used to the new technique and hopefully I can have a better run at the Asian Championships.” Janry Ubas of the Philippines won the gold with a 7.67 metre effort, while third place went to Wong Ka-chun of Macau in 7.25 metres. The regional event continues at the Tseung Kwan O venue on Sunday.