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Asian Games 2018

Asian Games: golden day for Hong Kong on the track as Sarah Lee and men’s madison duo storm to victory

The queen of the track won her second gold of the Games and fifth overall as Hong Kong equal their six-gold haul from the Incheon Games in 2014

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 August, 2018, 6:46pm
UPDATED : Friday, 31 August, 2018, 11:06pm

Sarah Lee Wai-sze led the way in a golden day for Hong Kong at the Asian Games on Friday after she successfully defended her women’s sprint title soon after the men turned in a stunning performance to win the madison title.

Hong Kong ruled the track at the Jakarta International Velodrome on the final day of the cycling competition with the women’s madison team taking the silver medal.

It gave Hong Kong a total of three gold medals on the track and four silvers – matching the gold haul of six from Incheon four years ago with hope for more glory in squash and rugby sevens.

Sarah Lee was at her blistering best in the women’s sprint, destroying South Korea’s Lee Hye-jin 2-0 to earn her fifth Asian Games gold. She had won the keirin gold earlier this week and then set a Games record in the sprint qualification.

Between Sarah Lee’s races, the men’s madison team of Leung Chun-wing and Cheung King-lok swept to a brilliant victory, emerging from nowhere in the last 20 laps to overwhelm the dazed Koreans who had been leading comfortably until that point.

Asian Games 2018: gold for Hong Kong cyclist Sarah Lee in women’s keirin

For Lee, the victory was made sweeter by the fact that the Hong Kong team made an impact on the track competition.

“I am very satisfied,” said Lee, the 2012 Olympic keirin bronze medallist. “The happiness really comes more from the fact that my teammates also made the podium.

“I’m also happy because finally the racing is finished. I was quite nervous and couldn’t sleep well because although I did some good times and had a Games record, you never know what could happen in the race.

“But I knew that I was more confident than the others and stronger than the others so I just took it step by step.”

Asian Games: Hong Kong rugby, squash and cycling stars must shine to surpass Incheon gold haul

In the first race of the final, the 31-year-old moved out of the Korean’s slipstream to claw back a bike’s length deficit to easy cross the finish line first. In the second race, Lee Hye-jin tried a similar move but Sarah Lee never gave her a chance, leading all the way round for a dominant victory.

Lee’s compatriot Cho Sun-young took bronze by beating China’s Zhong Tianshi 2-1.

“I didn’t really have any tactics,” said Hong Kong’s most successful Asian Games athlete. “I just wanted to rely on my speed. I knew once I accelerated my opponents already lost. But if I can’t get my speed it is dangerous.”

Leung said their tactic in the men’s madison was to always wait until the end and they pulled it off with aplomb.

“With the madison, we were just relying on our endurance,” he said. “Our style is to wait for the end. In the madison, it’s easy to be excited at the beginning and try to win early sprints but it’s also easy to lose your strength.

“So we wanted to wait and the race was decided in the last 20 laps. I think everyone was dying at that point. I just wanted to stop but the coach kept shouting ‘let’s go, let’s go!’.

“We just waited for the Korean team to crack and made our move. We finally did it.”

Hong Kong finished with the gold ahead of Korea and Japan.

In the women’s madison, Hong Kong’s Pang Yao and Yang Qianyu finished second behind South Korea with China finishing third.

Hong Kong’s other silver medals on the track came from Leung in the men’s omnium, the men’s team pursuit foursome and Sarah Lee, Vivian Ma Wing-yu and Li Yin-yin in the women’s team sprint.