Hong Kong swimmers set record with gold medal relay performance at Asian Indoor Games
Women’s relay team holds off China and Thailand in 4x50 medley
Hong Kong’s swimmers set a new Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games record to take gold in the women’s 4x50 medley relay to cap a successful day in the pool in Turkmenistan.
Stephanie Au Hoi-shun, Yvette Kong Man-yi, Sze Hang-yu and Chan Kin-lok combined to record a time of 1 minute 48.79 seconds to see off the challenge of China and Thailand, who finished in joint-second 2.85 seconds adrift.
The record time for the Hong Kong quartet surpassed the previous mark, achieved by South Korea in Incheon in 2013, by 1.38 seconds.
“It’s surprising because we broke the Games record as well” said Sze, who swam the butterfly leg in 26.53 seconds.
“We aimed for this gold medal and we are very happy to achieve it. We’re hoping for more in the coming days. We’re surprised that we broke the record, but as it was a medal race, we wanted to go for it.
“I think that’s our best time too. We don’t have a record in Hong Kong, but I think it’s a fastest time for Hong Kong.
“The stadium is very good and the lights are great and the pool is good. And the atmosphere. The spectators’ stand is full and they’re all cheering very hard, so it makes us feel very energetic and we go for it. That makes us swim our best splits and we’re all very happy.”
Hong Kong led from start to finish to leave China, Thailand and Kazakhstan to fight it out for the minor places, with the Chinese and Thais touching the wall at the same time to share second place.
Rainbow Ip, meanwhile, took silver in the women’s 100 metres breaststroke, finishing just ahead of 15-year-old team mate Natalie Kan Cheuk-tung, who secured the bronze with Kim Da-leun from South Korea taking the gold.
“I’m the eldest swimmer on the team and there are some younger ones and I hope this medal will let them know that Hong Kong can win medals as well,” said Sze of Hong Kong’s success in the opening day in the pool. “To boost them up and let them know, we can do it.”