Heartbreak for Hong Kong equestrian star Kenneth Cheng after narrowly missing out on Tokyo 2020 qualification
- Showjumping veteran and 2008 Olympian Cheng loses out on qualification after Sri Lanka’s Karlsson earns crucial year-end points
- Hong Kong equestrian will be represented by eventing star Thomas Ho with two Paralympic spots still up for grabs
Cheng – who represented Hong Kong at the 2008 Beijing Olympics – had spent the entire summer training in Belgium and competing in mainland China to collect valuable points. He opted to sit out the remaining two competitions of the year.
Sri Lanka’s Mathilda Karlsson leapfrogged Cheng after two point-worthy performances in France, earning the final slot for the Asia region. She joins Taiwan’s Jasmine Chen, who had already qualified in first place. Asian powerhouses Japan and Australia already had their showjumping places booked for Tokyo.
Fellow Hong Kong show-jumpers Patrick Lam, Raena Leung and Jacqueline Lai also missed out on Olympic qualification.
Hong Kong equestrian’s Olympic hopes lie in Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) rider Thomas Ho, the 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist who propelled himself to the top of the eventing rankings at the tail end of last year. The HKJC is still waiting on FEI confirmation regarding its two remaining slots in the Paralympics dressage category. A decision is expected at the end of this month.