At Monday’s Flag Presentation Ceremony at Government House, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying announced some of the athletes who will represent Hong Kong at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
The 38 athletes confirmed yesterday will compete in swimming, athletics, badminton, cycling, fencing, rowing, windsurfing, and table tennis.
Badminton player Angus Ng Ka-long, 22, hopes to at least reach the quarter-finals. “My biggest achievement is when I defeated world number one badminton player Chen Long at the Singapore Open, and Olympic champion Lin Dan at the Hong Kong Open,” he said.
“I hope I can continue this momentum. This is my first Olympics but I will put 100 per cent into each match. I hope to gain more experience; in particular, to get used to the atmosphere of such a large-scale event.”
Fencer Cheung Ka-long, 18, is also an Olympics newbie and believes his biggest battle will be against his nerves. He’ll leave Hong Kong on July 23 to get used to Rio’s climate.
Long jumper Chan Ming-tai, 21, was surprised to qualify for Rio. “The year was an emotional roller coaster. I didn’t do well after my record of 8.12 metres in May at the Hong Kong Inter-city Championships. I was afraid I wouldn’t make it to the Games, so I was excited when I got the notification,” Chan said.
“I hope I can jump farther than 8.12 metres in Rio, and break new records there.”
Chan said his biggest challenge at the Games was to deal with pressure as it was also his first time at the world’s biggest sporting event.
Swimmer Stephanie Au Hoi-shun wept with joy when Chef de Mission Kenneth Fok Kai-Kong announced that she will carry Hong Kong’s flag in the Olympic opening ceremony on August 5.
The 24-year-old Olympic veteran, whom local press have nicknamed “Pretty Mermaid”, competed in the previous two Games in Beijing and London. She failed to make the A cut for Rio’s individual events, but is still set to compete in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.
“I didn’t think that I might bethe flag bearer. It was not a smooth year for me,” said Au.
“I am excited and I can’t wait to go. These Games will be a unique experience. I know carrying the flag will be my happiest, most proud, glorious and memorable day [of my life]. I’m lucky that I will have a few days after it to calm down before my race.”
Hong Kong’s golf star Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching is also heading to Rio. The 22-year-old finished in 56th place in the qualification rankings, with the top 60 going to Rio.
“Making it to the Olympics is a potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I couldn’t be happier in the knowledge that I’m going to be an Olympic athlete, playing golf for Hong Kong against the world’s greatest players in front of a huge global audience,” she said.
“Qualifying for Rio is a huge personal achievement for me, but it’s also an achievement for golf in Hong Kong.”
It’s the first time golf has been included in the Games since 1904, and though several of the top men’s players have pulled out, all of the leading women are set to be involved. Chan is one of only three amateurs that are eligible for the Olympics.
She said: “The support I’ve received from the Hong Kong Golf Association, as well as all the clubs and other golf facilities in Hong Kong, has been simply amazing. I can’t thank them enough for helping me to reach this stage.”