Asian Games: Hong Kong and Singapore swimmers cash in as China and South Korea disqualified
Stephanie Au, Jamie Yeung, Chan Kin-lok and Camille Cheng finish a strong fourth in the medley relay but are quickly promoted to second behind Japan
Hong Kong would have been happy with a strong fourth place in the pool at the Asian Games on Thursday. Suddenly, they were third as South Korea were disqualified, then they were second after China were disqualified.
There was a moment when they thought, possibly, that they themselves would be disqualified. But the official results flashed on the Jakarta Aquatic Centre big screen and Hong Kong’s Stephanie Au Hoi-shun, Jamie Yeung Zheng-mei, Chan Kin-lok and Camille Lily Mei Cheng had gone from nearly women to 4x100m medley relay silver medallists.
After Japan won the race easily in 3:54.73. China touched home in second and South Korea finished third with Hong Kong anchor Cheng gaining in fourth place. But Korea and China were disqualified because judges said they jumped too early at changeovers.
The Hong Kong girls went into a delightful frenzy after they realised they finished second and were still buzzing after the medal ceremony.
“Going into this, our mentality was just we are the underdogs, seeded fourth and we wanted to give it a fight,” said Cheng soon after stepping off the podium with her teammates. “We all did that, you know, Stephanie [Au] leading off, she’s my training partner and seeing her, especially because she had a rocky start to the meet, was really great.
“And when it took so long to get the results up, I was like, ‘what was happening?’. Because you never know with relays. Just to get third, I was like, wow, I felt we earned that and it was still taking so long, so I was like ‘What’s going on? This can’t be happening’. And to get silver, I just turned around and said ‘Steph, we just got silver’ and she was like, ‘What?’.
“After that, personally, I was like let’s just wait because maybe we are the next team and then it was official and I’m still processing this a little bit.
“For me, I'm done racing [for these Asian Games] and to finish on a high note, I’m really proud of how all of us showed up tonight especially after ... you know, it’s kind of a long meet.”
Just one day of the six-day swimming competition remains with Au on Friday taking part in the women’s 50m freestyle and Yeung competing in the 200m individual medley. Hong Kong also have representatives in the men’s 50 backstroke, men’s 50m breaststroke, women’s 400m freestyle, men’s 4x100m medley relay and men’s 1,500m freestyle.
Hong Kong also took bronze in fencing on Thursday. The men’s sabre team of Cyrus Chan Chi-hin, Lam Hin-chung, Terence Lee Chak-fung and Low Ho-tin reached the semi-finals where they lost to South Korea 45-20, ensuring themselves of bronze.