Hong Kong hurdler Vera Lui considers legal action against online attacks following her disclosure of sexual assault
- Lui says she has recovered from the incident after her ‘MeToo’ revelation 12 months ago
- She receives a training grant of HK$53,000 for her achievement at the 2018 Asian Games
Hong Kong’s top hurdler, Vera Lui Lai-yiu, is considering legal action against a series of abuses online, 12 months after her disclosure as a sexual assault victim following the global “MeToo” movement.
“My mood has long recovered from the incident but still some people keep attacking me through the internet,” said Lui, who was presented with a HK$53,000 training grant from the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association on Sunday for her achievement at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
“I cannot explain the misbehaviour of these people. Maybe they have nothing to do but this meaningless action. Some even use a fake account on WhatsApp on my behalf asking for money to help my case for an appeal
“I am discussing [it] with my agent and legal action should be one of the options,” she said.
On her 23rd birthday late last year, Lui posted on Facebook that she was sexually assaulted by a coach 10 years ago. The post was accompanied by a photo of her holding a card on which “#MeToo” was written, with her initials “LLY”, in support of the hashtag campaign against sexual harassment.
Last month, a Hong Kong coach accused of sexually assaulting an athlete more than eight years ago was found not guilty by a court in Fanling.
Lui said her focus had long shifted back to her sporting career, especially after she became the first female athlete from Hong Kong to win a track and field medal at the Asian Games for over 60 years when she claimed a bronze in the 100-metre hurdles in Jakarta this summer.
“There are more people talking about women’s hurdles after my performance in Jakarta, thanks to the hard work of my supporting team and other Hong Kong hurdlers from different generations,” she said. “This is something good for the sport and we need more results to bolster Hong Kong’s track and field events.”
After a rewarding 2018 when she claimed the Asian Games bronze with a personal best of 13.42 seconds, Lui is hoping to achieve 13.2 seconds in 2019.
“There will be the Asian Championships in Doha in April and the World University Games in Naples in July and both are my targets,” said Lui, who is also studying for a physical education degree at Chinese University.
“The Olympic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Games will also kick off next year, but it will be very difficult to make it as the qualifying mark will be under 13 seconds which requires a big improvement on my current result.”
Hong Kong’s 100-metre hurdles record of 13.14 seconds was set more than two decades ago by Chan Sau-ying, who now lives in the United States.
“The record has been there since 1994 and my biggest wish is to break it before talking about the Olympic Games,” she said.