Windsurfing phenomenon Mak Cheuk-wing defies tender age to earn spot at 2018 Youth Olympics

The 14-year-old Hongkonger takes fifth against more experienced opponents at Techno 293+ Worlds in Brittany

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 6:23pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 6:23pm

Talented windsurfer Mak Cheuk-wing proved her world title was no fluke as the 14-year-old secured a berth for next year’s Youth Olympics against much older competitors from all over the world.

At the Techno 293+ Worlds in Brittany, France, Mak finished fifth with 51 penalty points after 11 out of a maximum 15 races.

“The top six boardsailors go to Buenos Aries for the 2018 Youth Olympics which means Mak has qualified,” said Hong Kong Windsurfing Association executive director Dennis Chau Wai-keung.

“This is a marvellous achievement considering her age as she is racing against much bigger and stronger competitors. Mak is still very young and has plenty of room for improvement.”

Mak put her name in lights last year when she won the Under-15 World Junior Championships at the age of only 13 in Italy.

Hong Kong also qualified in the boys’ category with Leung Pui-hei finishing sixth with 73 penalty points.

World champion Mak Cheuk-wing laments mistakes as local rivals prove equal to her challenge

The 17-year-old was actually ranked fourth in the qualifications as there were two boardsailors from France and two from Italy in the top six. At the Olympic level, only one boardsailor is allowed from each team.

Michael Cheng Chun-leung won a silver medal for Hong Kong at the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore seven years ago. Cheng qualified for the Rio Olympics last summer and finished a highly creditable eighth.