Equestrian rider Patrick Lam turns corner at National Games to lead the eventing after dressage
The individual jumping champion from the 2009 Games overcomes a poor performance in the team showjumping
Equestrian rider Patrick Lam Lap-shun salvaged his poor National Games campaign by finishing top of the eventing list after the dressage competition at Tianjin Metropolitan Polo Club on Tuesday, with cross country and showjumping still to come.
Lam, the individual jumping champion at the 2009 Games, was surprisingly eliminated in the opening round of the team showjumping when his horse twice refused to jump as Hong Kong finished in last place out of nine teams.
But there was no repeat of that hard luck as Lam finished his routine with 46.2 penalty points, the best among all 31 riders from eight teams.
“Both our riders and horses are in very good form and I hope they can stay in the lead until the end,” team manager Angela Kong Ka-fung said. “Guangdong and Tibet are traditionally strong teams in cross-country but we are also very competitive. We just keep our fingers crossed.”
Other Hong Kong riders also made a convincing start, with Thomas Ho getting 49.7 penalty points, followed by Nicole Pearson’s 50.7.
Annie Ho Yuen-yan received 51.3 and after calculating the best three scores, Hong Kong also led in the team rankings with 146.6 penalty points, followed by Jiangsu’s 150.1.
The three other Hong Kong riders are in fourth, sixth and eighth position respectively before the second event, cross country, starts on Wednesday. The eventing will be completed by showjumping on Thursday.
In the swimming pool, Kenneth To King-him reached the final of the men’s 50-metre freestyle by finishing sixth overall in the semi-finals with a time of 22.64 seconds.
Just 30 minutes after the sprint event, To jumped back into the pool for the 200-metre individual medley but managed only seventh in the final in 2:02.28, well short of his Hong Kong record of 2:01.37 set in last month’s World University Games.
To was a bit lost after the medley final. “The first 100 metres was too relaxed and when I tried to pick it up in the breaststroke, my speed could not match the others,” he said.
In golf, Hong Kong’s men’s team failed to repeat the silver medal they won four years ago in Shenyang. The team of Hak Shun-yat, Matthew Cheung Hung-hai, Tang Tsz-hang and Yeung Mo-tin lost the bronze medal by just one point to Shaanxi.
Hong Kong finished with 868 points after four days, while the women’s team finished at the bottom of the nine teams.