China sprinting star Su Bingtian takes a walk down memory lane as he prepares for Hong Kong Championships
The 28-year-old sprinter, the only Chinese to run 100 metres in under 10 seconds, is warming up for his race at the Wan Chai Sports Ground
China’s fastest man, Su Bingtian, slowed the pace right down as he took a walk down memory lane at the Wan Chai Sports Ground, venue of this weekend’s Hong Kong Athletics Championships.
Su will make his long-awaited appearance at the championships on Sunday after recovering from a foot injury and he had a twinkle in his eye as he made a reappearance at the ground for the first time in 10 years.
The 28-year-old sprinter last appeared at Wan Chai when he was a teenager representing Guangdong at the Inter-city Championships in 2008 and the sprinter wanted a feel of the ground and the atmosphere before he takes his place in the men’s 100 metres final on Sunday afternoon.
Su is no stranger to Hong Kong having made numerous visits either as an athlete or as a guest. He also won the 100 metres at the East Asian Games at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground when the city hosted the competition in 2009.
And after recording two 9.99 seconds in the sprinting event in 2015, Su’s presence in Hong Kong again will be the focus as organisers hope he can inspire our home runners to achieve better results – or even help improve the Hong Kong record of 10.28 seconds held by Tsui Chi-ho.
“He has a quick start and is very fast in the first 60 metres,” said Ng Ka-fung, who clocked 10.31 seconds last year. “With Su running in front of the pack, we will have to increase the pace in order to keep up with him. Hopefully our timing will also improve.
“It’s hard to say if we can break the record, but it will be a good opportunity to learn from him.”
Tsui, who is a few months younger than Su but has never beaten the mainlander since their teenaged days, predicted Su would finish the race in slightly over 10 seconds.
“We cannot just follow his rhythm as he is very fast,” said the Hong Kong record holder. “We need to adapt to his pace and then adjust our own to see how fast we can go. He is very consistent and even though he may not push himself too much as Su is preparing for the Diamond League next week, he can still finish in about 10.1 seconds.”
Tsui qualified for the final after winning Saturday’s semi-finals in 10.48 seconds while Ng was second in 10.52 seconds. They will each race on either side of Su, who was put straight into the final because of his fast times.
Coach Randy Huntington said the objective for Su to race in Hong Kong was to get a good warm up ahead of the Diamond League in Shanghai later this week.
“I don’t care if he finishes the race as I just want him to get a good start for the gun and some competitors next to him,” said the coach.
Meanwhile, To Yuen-kwan broke the women’s Hong Kong shot put record with a haul of 13 metres on the opening day of the championships. In the women’s 100 metre hurdles, Vera Lui Lai-yiu qualified fastest for the final with the time of 13.61 seconds, along with two visiting athletes from Taiwan, Lin Shih-ting and Hsieh His-en.
Long jumper Chan Ming-tai, who just completed a three-week training camp with team China in Shenzhen, will battle it out against mainlanders Gao Xinlong and Wang Jianan, the pair he trained with recently, also on Sunday.