Have TT skills, will travel

Kevin Kung
Kevin Kung |

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(From left) William Hung Wah-tak, Josephine Hung and Victor Hung Ka-tak.
For the Hung family, there's nothing better than travelling the world taking part in table tennis competitions.

William Hung Wah-tak, 14, is a member of the Hong Kong junior table tennis team. He is ranked number two among the territory's under-15 players.

His teammate and brother, Victor Hung Ka-tak, tops the under-12 rankings. Victor dominated the singles and doubles at the inter-school Jing Ying Table Tennis Tournament recently.

The siblings show no fear, even when they are playing bigger and stronger opponents abroad.

'They have been doing so well [in competitions] although they have only been playing the sport for three years,' says the boys' mother, Josephine Hung. 'Their victories gave them more opportunities to play at international level. They really want to represent Hong Kong in overseas tournaments, but they are way too young to travel alone.'

So Josephine quit her job two years ago to accompany the boys on their foreign trips.

'It was a hard decision ... I left my teaching career after 20 years. But I knew I needed to support my boys who worked very hard,' she says.

Victor, a Form One student, will join his brother William at Ying Wa College after the summer vacation.

They have a good relationship which helps them when they play doubles together.

'I know I am going to partner my elder brother in the [upcoming] Jing Ying Tournament and our target is very clear - the championship trophy. I'm so excited to play with him,' says Victor.

Although the pair will be making their debut in September's secondary schools competition, they have already won many local and overseas titles. 'We beat the top two seeds in the under-18 men's doubles final at the ITTF [International Table Tennis Federation] competition in Sweden,' says William.

Following that victory, Victor was included in the World Hope Team, which comprises eight top junior players - four girls and four boys - from around the globe. 'I'm happy to be the first player from Hong Kong to be selected. The federation will sponsor my expenses to the ITTF event in South Korea and arrange training sessions with national players there,' he says.

The boys love to travel. 'Victor played with his skateboard during a snowstorm in Sweden,' says William.

But there have been some scary moments, too. 'We went to the pyramids after competing in Egypt. We paid for it in advance but later the tour guide forced us to pay more when we were in the desert. He was very aggressive,' recalls Victor.

And there was an incident while training on the mainland. 'I cut my finger while trying to peel an apple. It was bleeding heavily and my mum wasn't there. It was a rainy day and Victor took me to hospital on a bicycle,' says William.

While training and competitions have sharpened their table tennis skills, they have also become more mature and disciplined.

'Whenever we travel, I never have to worry about their packing or check their equipment. They are very 'professional',' Hung said with a smile.

The brothers asked for support from Young Post readers. You can see them in action at the 2010 Hong Kong Junior & Cadet Open, which will be held at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium from August 4-8.

Kevin is a Young Post intern. He will be reporting all the YOG action from Singapore for Young Post

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