Asian Games 2018

World University Games dream in doubt for Rachel Shing Ho-ching as Hong Kong opts out of shooting

  • University Sports Federation plans to submit entries for nine events – but not shooting
  • Hong Kong No 1 says she would be capable of winning a medal in Napoli
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 January, 2019, 10:09am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 January, 2019, 10:00pm

Top markswoman Rachel Shing Ho-ching was stunned when she found out Hong Kong will not compete in shooting at this summer’s World University Games in Napoli, Italy.

In a circular to its members in November, the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association said the University Sports Federation of Hong Kong (USFHK) planned to submit entries to the July 3-14 competition in the nine events of athletics, fencing, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, sailing and men’s volleyball – but not shooting.

“I am not saying I can for sure win a medal for Hong Kong if I go, but at least a top-eight finish should not be a problem,” said the 24-year-old Hong Kong No 1, who also took part in the 2018 Asian Games where she came 10th in the women’s 10-metre air pistol.

“This is going to be my first and last chance to take part in the student games and I am so disappointed that I was not given a chance, not even before any nomination was made.”

Shing is ranked 10th in the region, having also finished fourth at the Asian Airgun Championships in Kuwait last month.

“It’s a bit ridiculous as I found out from the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association website that the organisers are preparing to send nine sports to Napoli without shooting,” she added.

“Our sport’s governing body has never been informed of any nomination and suddenly they say these nine sports have been proposed. I have no idea what has happened.”

Shing, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design Hong Kong (SCAD) this summer, was selected for the 2015 Games before an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in South Korea stopped her from taking part in Gwangju.

“Some sports kept sending their athletes to South Korea despite the disease but the Shooting Association did not,” she said.

“The last Games in Taipei did not include shooting as a programme and if I can’t go this time, there will not be any more chance for me.”

The Games rules do allow graduates of the previous year to participate with an age limit of 26, which Shing still fits.

There are 18 programmes from 15 sports for the Napoli Games, including shooting, but Hong Kong is not competing in the sport under the USFHK, while SCAD Hong Kong is also not a member under the USFHK.

USFHK president Patrick Chan Pak-cheung told the Post that other than member institution nominations, they also accept nominations from respective national sport associations, as well as self-nomination from student athletes, saying they are now forming the Hong Kong Delegation to the Games.

“I have tried the USFHK website and there wasn’t any information about nomination for the Games,” Shing said, however. “How can I make self-nomination?”

Edgar Yeung Joe-tsi, honorary secretary general of the Hong Kong Shooting Association, said they had already complained to the relevant authorities about the nine “proposed sports” for the Napoli Games and had also written to the USFHK for Shing’s case.