Sarah Lee Wai-sze

Darling of Hong Kong cycling Sarah Lee Wai-sze refuses to be drawn on her future on the track

London 2012 hero hints she may go into coaching but first up are Hong Kong Championships before expected return to World Cup team in Minsk

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 December, 2017, 4:54pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 December, 2017, 11:10pm

Sarah Lee Wai-sze will return to the international arena this year, but on Sunday Hong Kong’s Olympic cycling darling would not be drawn on her commitment to compete in August’s Asian Games in Indonesia.

The 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist cast doubt on her career after failing to capture a second medal in the Rio Games last year.

After snatching a bronze medal in the women’s sprint at the 2017 Track World Championships in front of home fans at Tseung Kwan O, Lee hinted she might quit at any time and refused to commit her future to the sport, especially after having begun a second degree course at Baptist University in October. She completed her first degree in health education at Education University this summer.

The 30-year-old sprinter remained coy on her medium- and long-term plans when speaking after taking part in “Run with Your Heart”, a charity event at the Sport Institute on Sunday.

Lee said she would take part in the Hong Kong Championships at the Tseung Kwan O velodrome on the weekend of January 6 and 7.

“The World Cup? Don’t know yet at the moment but you can ask my coach during the Hong Kong Championships. He should be able to give you more details on my plans,” said Lee.

Lee said 2018 would be a big year for Hong Kong sport with the Asian Games taking place. “There is no room for being lazy because the Asian Games will be held in August,” she said. “As an athlete or maybe as a coach I haven’t decided my future yet, I would do a proper job and remain positive as the Asian Games is very important.”

However, the Hong Kong Cycling Association has already included Lee in its squad for the last World Cup series of the year, which will take place in Minsk, Belarus, in less than three weeks.

“We have received reports from her coach that Lee is fit for competition again and also wants to race in the World Cup,” said association chairman Leung Hung-tak. “She is still a top ranked rider and we therefore decided to include her in the squad and hopefully she can bring international honours for Hong Kong as she used to.

“We know she has not been racing since September after the Asian Indoor Games and also missed the first four legs of this year’s World Cup series due to injury and her studies, but if she is determined to get back to the track, we reckon she can manage.”

If Hong Kong Olympic hero Sarah Lee Wai-sze really wants to quit, then let her do so with the dignity she deserves rather than amid petty squabbling

Leung said the Minsk World Cup, to be held on January 19-21, would be the last major event to provide qualifying points for the 2018 World Championships to be held in the Netherlands in February.

“If she wants to take part in the World Cup, I would assume she has the intention of going to the world championships. Let’s see how she performs in Minsk first,” said Leung.