Cheung King-lok beats South Korean rival to road gold at Asian Cycling Championships and eyes repeat of 2016 double
Rio Olympian leads Hong Kong to team bronze while future stars bag medals in under-23 and junior events
Hong Kong’s Cheung King-lok snatched his second gold medal in three years in the men’s road race individual time trial at the Asian Cycling Championships after another excellent performance in Myanmar on Saturday.
Cheung, who turned 27 on Thursday, completed the 42-kilometre (26.1 miles) race in 49 minutes and 53 seconds – three seconds ahead of old rival Choe Hyeong-min of South Korea.
The Hong Kong rider also beat Choe in the 2016 regional championships in Japan when Cheung clinched his first Asian title. Last year in Bahrain, Cheung came third while the South Korean was second.
Later in the afternoon, Vivien Chiu Wai-wan made it a golden day for Hong Kong by capturing the team’s second gold in Myanmar when she came first in the girls’ junior road race.
Third place went to Arvin Moazami Godarzi of Iran who was almost a minute behind the champion, finishing in 50:52. Fumiyuki Beppu of Japan, riding for World Tour team Trek-Segafredo, was fourth.
It was the second time Cheung has stood on the podium in Myanmar after he led the Hong Kong riders to a bronze medal in the team time trial on his birthday. The Rio 2016 Olympian still has a chance to complete a gold medal double when he races in the mass start road race on Monday.
Cheung clinched both the mass start and individual time trial at the 2016 regional event, catching the attention of World Tour team Orica-GreenEdge of Australia, who recruited him as a rider for 2016 and 2017.
Hong Kong has won three silver medals so far in Myanmar, including two from the men’s and women’s under-23 individual time trial through Fung Ka-ho and Leung Wing-yee. Chu Chun-wai won the junior individual time trial.
Meanwhile, Chiu showed her prowess in the women’s junior road race, hitting the finish line ahead of her rivals in a blanket finish. The top eight riders clocked an identical one hour 59 minutes and 40 seconds, including another Hong Kong member Lee Wing-sze, who came home eighth in the bunch. Another Hong Kong rider Yeung Shuk-yin was four seconds adrift in 10th place.