Asian Games: Hong Kong rugby, squash and cycling stars must shine to surpass Incheon gold haul
With three days remaining in Jakarta, Hong Kong have four golds and need three more to overhaul the six they won in 2014
Hong Kong will need their favoured athletes to deliver over the last three days of the Asian Games if they are to surpass their gold haul from Incheon four years ago.
The men’s rugby sevens squad, men’s squash team and track cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze are Hong Kong’s best chances for more gold before the Jakarta Games close on Sunday, with the women’s squash team also offering hope of another title.
As of Thursday, Hong Kong had collected four gold medals out of 34 along with 13 silver and 17 bronze. Track cyclist Leung Chun-wing was Hong Kong’s latest medallist on Thursday when he took silver in the men’s omnium, having led the field at the halfway stage.
Three more silver medals will come from windsurfing but Hong Kong need two more golds to equal the Incheon haul of six and five more to beat their best showing of eight gold medals at the 2010 Guangzhou Games.
The men’s rugby sevens team looked in championship form on Thursday as they scored impressive victories over Pakistan (64-5) and China (42-17) in group A, with one more preliminary match on Friday against Thailand.
Despite being on the defensive in the final minutes against China, who scored two tries, Hong Kong’s Ben Rimene was pleased with the day’s work.
“We worked hard on that last phase it was a good few minutes of defence and we held them well and we scrambled well. They retained the ball and if you hold the ball you are going to score,” he said.
“We were confident in what we could do. If we executed, which we did, we knew we could do pretty well. The score was the score, I’m not going to look too deep into it. You can win by five points and you can win them by 50. Anything can happen later in the tournament.
“Two good wins so we’ll be happy as a squad.”
In the women’s competition, Hong Kong had an up and down day, dispatching Singapore (26-5), before losing 32-7 to the region’s top team, China.
The men’s squash team beat Nepal 3-0 on Thursday to finish with a 100 per cent record in pool A. Boasting singles gold and silver medallists Leo Au Chun-ming and Max Lee Ho-yin, Hong Kong have the weapons to overcome their rivals in the race for gold.
The women’s team also topped their pool after a 2-1 victory over India. They have a much harder path to gold with the powerful Malaysia squad of singles finalists Nicol David and S Subramaniam likely to be standing in their way.
Sarah Lee is also a major hope for gold in the women’s sprint. Having already successfully defended her keirin title on Tuesday, the 31-year-old will be aiming for a second straight sprint title at the Jakarta International Velodrome on Friday. On Thursday, she cruised through her qualifying and last 16 to reach the last eight, where she will meet Japan’s Riyu Ohta.
Also in the last eight is rising star Jessica Lee Hoi-yan, who faces South Korea’s Cho Sun-young on Friday.