Hong Kong bag first gold medal at China National Games as Yang Qianyu and Pang Yao win what could be the first of several cycling gongs
Pair finish well in front of rivals in impressive display
Hong Kong won its first gold at the National Games in Tianjin as Yang Qianyu and Pang Yao came first in the women’s madison event at the cycling velodrome.
Yang and Pang, who were third in qualifying, reached their best for the medal race, scoring points in each of the eight sprinting laps of the 20-kilometre race to earn a total 35 points, well ahead of the silver medal pair from Shanghai, who had 19, one ahead of Shanxi.
The madison is a ‘tag-team’ style race which is relatively new for women cyclists, who will compete in it for the first time at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Yang, 27, is the reigning Asian road race champion after winning that title in Bahrain early this year, and will fancy her chances of another gold medal in that event in Tianjin next week.
Yang and Pang, both born on the mainland, have set their sights on representing Hong Kong in Tokyo after fulfilling residence requirements.
Hong Kong also has a men’s madison team – Leung Chun-wing and Ko Siu-wai – in the final this afternoon.
But London Olympics bronze medallist Sarah Lee Wai-sze suffered disappointment in her favourite event, the sprint, losing in the semi-final and will compete for bronze tonight.
Yang and Pang will share a cash reward of HK$420,000 under the Jockey Club Athlete Incentive Awards Scheme.