Don’t compare young gun Leung Chun-wing and I, says Wong Kam-po as Hong Kong get set for Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games
The up-and-coming cyclist is in form at the National Games in Tianjin and gets another chance to prove himself in Turkmenistan later this month
Promising Leung Chun-wing is primed to be Hong Kong’s next star cyclist but he will never be another Wong Kam-po, according to the legend himself.
Leung collected one gold and one silver medal on the velodrome at the National Games in Tianjin, helping Hong Kong to their best performance so far in the event. With the road race starting on Wednesday, the 23-year-old former world junior champion could bag even more.
“I don’t think he would like to be called Wong Kam-po the second and it is also not fair to compare me and him as we are two different riders with different backgrounds and characters,” said Wong, who recently started working as an executive under the Olympic Committee’s sports legacy programme after leaving the Sports Institute as its cycling coach.
“And Leung has already established himself as a major force in the Hong Kong team following his performance in Tianjin and he still has plenty of room for improvement at international level.
“We are happy there are new faces coming through the ranks to make Hong Kong cycling stronger and better so that they can remain competitive at the highest level.”
Leung will not have to wait too long to get another chance to prove himself on the international stage. He is among the 119-strong Hong Kong delegation for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which kick off in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in a fortnight, with the Hong Kong delegation honoured at a flag presentation at the Harbour Grand Hotel on Tuesday.
This is the first time track cycling has been included in the programme in five editions of the indoor event. Hong Kong will take part in 10 sports out of 21 – athletics, billiard sports, cycling, tenpin bowling, dance sport, futsal, Muay Thai, swimming (short course), indoor tennis and taekwondo.
The cycling team will send their strongest squad to Ashgabat, including top rider Sarah Lee Wai-sze, Pang Yao, Yang Qianyu – who clinched a gold medal in the women’s madison in Tianjin – and Meng Zhaojuan.
The men’s team features Ko Siu-wai, Leung’s partner in the men’s madison who clinched a silver medal, Leung Ka-yu and Law Tsz-chun.
Other serious medal hopes lie with women’s snooker, headed by world champion Ng On-yee, and tenpin bowlers Wu Siu-hong and Mak Chuek-yin.
High jumper Cecilia Yeung Man-wai, who narrowly missed a medal in Tianjin, will be out to make amends, along with long jumper Chan Man-tai in athletics.
Snooker queen Ng will be making her third attempt at the Games after capturing a silver four years ago.
“It has been a very busy year for me but I always enjoy representing Hong Kong in a multi-sport event,” said Ng, who will be rushing to England after Ashgabat for the UK Championship, one of the biggest events in snooker.
“I would try to grab sufficient rest at the Games to prepare myself for the competition and if time allows, I would also go to watch and support other Hong Kong athletes.”