Teen athletes shine at Cathay Pacific 2018 Hong Kong Sports Stars Awards

Tuesday's ceremony recognised young HK sportspeople including fencers Kaylin Hsieh and Gigi Ma, as well as Olympic cyclist Sarah Lee

Joanne Ma |

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The Junior Sports stars (from left): Tina, Vivien, Leo, Addis, Kaylin and Cheuk-wing

The Cathay Pacific 2018 Hong Kong Sports Stars Awards took place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.

Six local young athletes were awarded the Hong Kong Junior Sports Stars Awards, a category dedicated to athletes aged 18 or below. The awardees were Leo Yip Kin-ling (Billiard Sports), Addis Wong Lok-hei (Athletics), Vivien Chiu (Cycling), Kaylin Hsieh Sin-yan (Fencing), Mak Cheuk-wing (Windsurfing) and Tina Wong Tin-yan (Wushu).

“This award is not just about how hard I’ve worked, but also the support I’ve received from my family and the people around me,” said Kaylin, the 17-year-old fencer who was also the silver medallist at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics – women's individual épée.

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“Every athlete works extremely hard, but with this award it just shows how much Hong Kong and the Olympic Committee believe in me. It will push me to do even better, it’s just like an energy boost.”

Addis, who claimed a historic bronze medal at the Youth Olympics Games in Argentina in October, said, “The award is a milestone that shows how far I’ve come and proof of my endeavours.” The 17-year-old hurdler added that he wanted to represent Hong Kong at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Fencer Gigi Ma Ho-chee, 18, was one of the awardees of the Most Promising Sports Stars Awards. She also won in cadet women’s sabre at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships in March last year, and qualified for the Summer Youth Olympics.

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“For my short-term goal, perhaps after a few years, I hope I can claim an individual medal at World Championships U20,” she said, “And in the long run, I’m setting my eyes on Paris Olympics in 2024.”

The Hong Kong Sports Stars Awards went to Ng Mui-wui (Table Tennis for persons with intellectual disability), Au Chun-ming (Squash), Ng On-yee (Billiard Sports), Juanita Mok Uen-ying (Wushu), Sarah Lee Wai-sze (Cycling), Yu Chui-yee (Wheelchair Fencing), Vivian Kong Man-wai (Fencing), Shek Wai-hung (Gymnastics).

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Chosen from the eight outstanding athletes, Hong Kong cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze also received the Best of the Best Hong Kong Sports Stars Award for the fifth time.

“These two awards give me so much confidence. In fact, every time I compete, I think about the moments at these award ceremonies. The support that everyone has shown always gives me strength and courage,” said the 31-year-old bronze medallist in the womens keirin at the 2012 London Olympics.

Olympian Sarah Lee received the Best of the Best title for the fifth time.
Photo: Joanne Ma

She added she was happy that most cyclists who were nominated also received an award that evening. “We performed pretty well at the Asian Games, and I hope in the upcoming Olympic Games, everyone can unleash their greatest potential,” said Lee.

The awards for Team Event went to the Hong Kong Badminton Team - Mixed Doubles and the Hong Kong Track Cycling Men’s Madison Team.

Lui Lai-yiu (Athletics), Leung Wing-yee (Cycling), Gigi Ma Ho-chee (Fencing), Coleman Wong Chak-lam (Tennis) and Chen Suijin (Wushu) walked away with the Most Promising Sports Stars Awards.

The Hong Kong Rugby Union Men Team received the award for Team-Only Sport.

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At the ceremony, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, the president of Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, paid tribute in their speeches to Hong Kong swimmer Kenneth To, who died last Tuesday.

All awards, except the Best of the Best where only the judging panel got to decide, were voted for by three parties: the judging panel, local sports editors and reporters, as well as the public, who constituted 60, 20 and 20 per cent of the outcomes respectively.