Hong Kong gold rush continues in Turkmenistan as Chan Kin-lok claims butterfly title
Chan takes the 100 metres butterfly ahead of Chinese rival at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games
Chan Kin-lok attributed her steady diet of World Cup races for her gold medal-winning performance in the 100 metres butterfly in the short course swimming at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan on Saturday evening.
Chan touched out China’s Sun Meichen by just a tenth of a second to win gold in a time of 58.15 seconds to cap a successful day for Hong Kong as Toto Wong Kwan-to and the women’s relay team claimed silver medals in the 50 metres backstroke and the 4x100 freestyle relay respectively.
“I feel really happy and proud to represent Hong Kong and to get a gold medal,” said Chan, who was part of relay team that won gold in the 4x50 metres medley relay on Friday evening.
“I think I really did very well in these games and I’m really happy about that. I was more excited yesterday because I was with my teammates and we got a Games record, but I’m still happy with my gold medal today.”
Chan trailed Sun and South Korea’s Park Ye-rin at the halfway turn but a strong second half of the race saw the 23-year-old claw her way back into contention and she pipped the Chinese swimmer to the gold when she hit the finish perfectly to stop the clock first.
“I’ve done a lot of World Cup races, so I’ve done a lot of work on my turns,” said Chan. “I wasn’t sprinting so well in the first 50 so I knew I’d have to go quicker in the second 50.
“I’ve done a lot of races in short course events and that’s been good training for this, how to do better turns and touch.”
Wong, meanwhile, split Chinese swimmers Yang Yifan and Jiang Yuru to claim the silver in the women’s 50 metres backstroke in a time of 27.80 seconds while the women’s relay team put in an impressive performance to take second behind China in the 4x100 metres freestyle.
Hong Kong recorded a time three minutes, 40.18 seconds, which was almost a second-and-a-half faster than the games record set in Incheon in 2013 by China and which was obliterated by the Chinese squad, who won the final by 2.24 seconds thanks to a strong second half of the race.
“Our target was to break the Games record and actually we did it, although we got silver and lost to China,” said Sze hang-yu, who was joined by Stephanie Au Hoi-shun, Ho Nam-wai and Wong Cho-ying in the team.
“They swam a lot faster than us. But we achieved our mission and actually this is a new Hong Kong record. The previous one was set in 2009 and we broke it almost by two seconds, so we are very satisfied with this result.”
Hong Kong’s haul of two golds, three silvers and a bronze medal in the first two days has given the squad a significant lift going into the final two days of competition in Ashgabat.
“We are happy in general because of all the medals we’re getting,” said Au. “The individuals are doing well, the youngsters are learning. They are coming up and racing together with us. It’s a good experience for them to just race together with us.
“It’s going to help us and it’s going to help the young swimmers, definitely. It’s a very good milestone.”