Asian Games: Hong Kong silver medallist rower Chiu upset at missing gold; world-class potential, says coach Perry
The men’s lightweight single sculler announced himself on the Asian scene after turning on the power to claim second place
Hong Kong silver winner Chiu Hin-chun has world-class potential and has announced himself as a major force in Asian rowing at the JSC Lake in Palembang, Indonesia, said coach Chris Perry.
The 24-year-old finished second to South Korea’s Park Hyun-su on Friday after putting in an almighty effort to reel in India’s Dushyant and claim the silver.
Hong Kong also won bronze in the women’s lightweight through Lee Ka-man while the men’s eight won bronze in their event, justifying Perry’s decision for four of their team to back down in Thursday’s quadruples.
“Chiu was disappointed after the race as he had set his heart on getting the gold,” said Perry. “He is young and still a bit inexperienced tactically. But it is a measure of his courage and determination that he is never satisfied with less than winning.
“But this is just inexperience. He is such a highly motivated and ambitious athlete and if he keeps going he has world-class potential. I think this race has stamped himself on the scene.”
This is Chiu’s first season in singles, having previously been part of a pairs team. Before that, he was a windsurfer but switched to rowing after a talent identification programme.
Chiu had reached the final through the repechage and was in fourth place in Friday’s race before turning on the power to overtake Dushyant. He was closing in on Park but ran out of water and had to settle for silver.
Park won in 7:12.86 with Chiu finishing in 7:14.16. Dushyant trailed in 7:18.76 in the six-man race.
Lee was unable to challenge the powerful Pan Dandan (8:05.79), of China, and Iran’s Nazanin Malaei (8:19.28) but was the best of the rest as she clocked 8:27.21 in the women’s lightweight..
“She was not able to match the blistering pace of China or Iran but was comfortably ahead of everyone else in the field,” said Perry. “The Iranian led most of the way but the world class Chinese sculler just powered away in the last 500 metres.”
The men’s eights team of Kenneth Liu Kang-yue, Chau Yee-ping, James Wong Pak-yan, Tang Chiu-mang, Lam San-tung, Yuen Yun-lam, Leung Chun-shek, Wong Wai-kin and cox Cheung Ming-hang were involved in one of the best battles of the competition and their desperate attack at the end allowed them to overtake India for the bronze.
Indonesia won gold in 6:08.88, Uzbekistan were second in 6:12.46 with Hong Kong third on 6:14.46. India were 0.54 of a second behind in fourth.
“The crew were incredibly happy as they pulled off the best race of the whole season when it really counted. A fantastic effort and all the hard work paid off for them in the end,” said Perry. “Total medal count for rowing a little down on the last Games but as I said the number of countries capable of challenging for medals has increased.
“Also the event format and groupings meant that we were missing some of our traditionally strong events and it was much harder to double up athletes in different events.
“Overall I’m very satisfied. Gold in the single would have been the icing on the cake. The medal in the eight is a step up from 1986 – and it’s great to see nine athletes [including cox in eights] with medals around their necks.”