Cheung King-lok snatches silver as Hong Kong’s cyclists continue to shine at National Games
Orica-Scott team member eyes road race after clocking 48 minutes and 43.2 seconds in the time trial
Hong Kong’s cyclists continued their impressive run at the National Games on Wednesday, with Cheung King-lok snatching a silver medal in the men’s time trial as the road races got under way in Tianjin.
Cheung had not featured in Tianjin until the time trial and he completed the 39.4km course along Tuan Bo Lake in 48 minutes and 43.2 seconds, an average speed of close to 50km/h.
The 26-year-old, who is a member of professional team Orica-Scott of Australia, also captured a bronze medal in the time trial at the Asian Championships in Bahrain earlier this year. His silver is the sixth cycling medal for Hong Kong at the Games.
“We know Cheung is very strong in time trial and he has not let us down,” said Leung Hung-tak, the chairman of the cycling association and a former Hong Kong road race captain.
“We are still chasing more medals with the individual men’s and women’s road race due to start [on Thursday and Friday]. Although there are many uncertainties in the discipline, we should be able to get some good results if we perform to our standard.”
Hong Kong teams have dominated the men’s individual road race at the National Games since their debut in Shanghai in 1997 after the reunification with China.
Wong Kam-po won the title in 1997, 2001 and 2009, along with a bronze in 2005. With Cheung and up-and-coming Leung Chun-wing heading a six-strong squad in the road race, Hong Kong are a top medal favourite.
Leung has been the most successful rider in Tianjin so far with his one gold and one silver on the track.
In the women’s time trial, Hong Kong’s Yang Qianyu and Pang Yao, the gold medal combination in the madison race on the track, returned with a 14th and 22nd place respectively.
Coach Shen Jinkang said the two riders are not specialists in the time trial but expects them to be a bigger chance in the individual road race, especially Yang, who is the reigning Asian champion after her win in Bahrain.
In equestrian sport, Hong Kong fell from heaven to hell after finishing bottom in the second round of team eventing.
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
Featuring Patrick Lam Lap-shun, Nicole Pearson, Annie Ho Yuen-yan and Thomas Ho, they led the opening round of dressage but the cross-country proved to be a disaster, with both Lam, also the individual leader in dressage, and Pearson, a long serving member of the team, eliminated. The eventing will conclude with showing jumping on Thursday.
It was also a disappointing result for shuttler Ng Ka-long as he lost his quarter-final match in the men’s singles.
Ng, the only Hong Kong survivor in the badminton competition, was no match against second seed and world number three Shi Yuqi of Jiangsu, losing 21-18, 21-17.
Swimmer Kenneth To King-him, meanwhile, came seventh in the men’s 50-metre freestyle final. Ning Zetao of Henan completed a double after his success in the 100-metre freestyle with a time of 22.04 seconds, while To managed 22.68.
However, Hong Kong has still achieved their best result so far at the National Games with two gold, six silver and seven bronze medals.