Asian Games: there’s more gold out there, say Hong Kong’s squash finalists after Leo Au beats Max Lee in men’s final
Gold medallist Au and runner-up Lee have little time to celebrate as they join forces with other Hong Kong players in the team event
Leo Au Chun-ming and Max Lee Ho-yin collected their gold and silver medals, smiled for the cameras and then swiftly put their game faces back on as they go in search of more glory for Hong Kong at the Asian Games.
Au beat Lee 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-4 to capture his maiden gold as Hong Kong completed a podium one-two for the first time since the 2006 Doha Games when the city had gold and silver in women’s singles badminton.
And Hong Kong could be celebrating another gold medal after the badminton mixed doubles pair of Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet overcame their Chinese opponents, Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping, to reach the final following a nail-biting semi-final last night.
The Hong Kong badminton pair lost to the Chinese duo only a fortnight ago at the world championships in Nanjing but turned the tables with a 2-1 (22-20, 19-21, 23-21) win over the world number two mainland combination.
Meanwhile, there is no rest for Au and Lee, who must now join forces in the squash team event, which starts on Monday.
“Of course I’m very happy because it is my first Asian Games medal and it is a gold, so I proved to myself that I can play at the top level in Asia,” said Au. “But we don’t have much time to celebrate because we have the team competition and we have to focus on that and hopefully win gold again.”
Lee, 30, who like Au came from two games behind to win his semi-final on Saturday found himself in a similar situation in the final.
Although he won the third game 11-6, there would be no fightback this time as Au picked his shots to perfection to run away with the fourth game.
“I’m happy with the silver,” said Lee. “Not very happy but just happy because we managed to get two players in the final.
“We both played hard, now we are celebrating and posing for pictures but soon we have to refocus for the team event because we have a good chance in that.”
Badminton pair Tang and Tse have made the breakthrough they have been looking for since they have been playing together for about two years.
In Nanjing, Tang and Tse, the world number four ranked pair, were no match against their mainland counterparts, losing in just 30 minutes.
The Hong Kong pair will meet top seed Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, also from China, in the final.
It’s the second time Hong Kong players have reached the Asian Games badminton final. Wang Chen, now Hong Kong women’s team coach, beat compatriot Yip Pui-yin in the women’s singles final in 2006 Doha Games.
On the athletics track, Hong Kong hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu ran a personal best time of 10.42 seconds last night to claim the bronze medal in the 100-metre hurdles women’s final .
An incredible run by the 23-year-old in a very close final saw her score the biggest prize of her career.
She finished just .09 seconds behind Indonesia’s Emilia Nova, who also ran a personal best time in the final, and .22 seconds behind South Korea’s former Asian champion Jung Hyelim.
Also in the medals for Hong Kong was karate player Choi Wan-yu who took bronze in the women’s – 61kg event, beating Madina Utelbayeva, of Kazakhstan, 2-1.