YOG of the week: Kenneth Chiu

Kevin Kung
Kevin Kung |

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Name: Kenneth Chiu Chung-hei

School: La Salle College

Grade: Form Four

Sport: Table tennis

Achievements Kenneth, 16, is a member of the Hong Kong table tennis team. He won the Hong Kong Junior Sports Stars Award in 2005 and 2006. He took part in torch relays for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 East Asian Games held in Hong Kong..

He won the under-18 men's singles title and was runner-up in the doubles at the ITTF Argentina Junior and Cadet Open in Buenos Aires this year. He also claimed the cadet singles and cadet team titles at the 2009 Spanish Junior Open. He came third in the boys' cadet singles at the 15th Asian Junior Championships held in India last year. At the 2009 ITTF Cadet Challenge and Junior Circuit Finals held in Japan, he won two silver medals in the cadet boys' singles and team events. He was the runner-up in the boys' singles (secondary school) at the 2009 Hang Seng All School Table Tennis Championships.

How he qualified "There are tournaments for players to qualify for the first Youth Olympic Games [YOG]. But according to the Games regulations, the top four players in the world cadet [under-15] year-end rankings last year will qualify for the YOG. I was world number 3, so I qualified for the Games without playing a single match," Kenneth said.

Soundbite "After becoming a well-known player in the territory, I started to feel the pressure when I faced other junior players in competitions. And sometimes I lost matches because I was afraid of being beaten. That affected my performance, especially in inter-school competitions," Kenneth said.

"Now I take it easy whoever the opponent is and I don't think about the outcome until the end of a match.

"I'll have a week-long practice stint in Singapore before the competition starts. My parents, elder sister and some of my friends have already booked their tickets for the Games and they will cheer for me."

From his coach "Our coaches thought Kenneth needed more exposure to major competitions before the YOG. So we sent him to numerous competitions held in different countries this year," said Chan Kong-wah, coach of the Hong Kong table tennis team.

"He had outstanding results in the competition in Argentina. We hope this can help him to fight for a higher seeding in the YOG.

"He will start his mixed doubles training with another YOG delegate, Ng Ka-yee, this month in preparation for the team events."

Insight for the Games "My target is to win a medal for Hong Kong at the YOG," Kenneth said.

Kevin Kung will be reporting all the YOG action from Singapore for Young Post