Over the past few days, a number of local athletes have done brilliantly in different sport events at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Young Post highlights some of the young athletes’ results.
Vivian Kong Man-wai and Edgar Cheung Ka-long won Hong Kong’s first-ever Olympics fencing bouts and reached the last 16.
Kong, a 22-year-old epee star who took a year off from studies at Stanford University, in the US, to focus on the Games, beat Russia’s Lyubov Shutova 15-10 on Saturday. But Kong was later defeated by the reigning world champion Rosella Fiamingo of Italy, 15-10.
“The experience was amazing. It really is nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” Kong said.
Asian champion Cheung, 19, scored a convincing 15-8 victory over Heo Jun of South Korea in the first round on Sunday, but was knocked out by Brazil’s Guilherme Toldo 15-10 in the last 16.
“[I faced] a lot pressure in front of those fans,” said Cheung. “I really didn’t fence well in the middle of the bout [against Toldo], when I had an 8-5 lead. I was so excited because it’s the first time Hong Kong fencers have reached this stage in the Olympics.”
Hong Kong’s Asian champion Cheung King-lok was 100 kilometres into the 237km Rio Olympics cycling road race when he was forced to pull out with sore muscles. The 25-year-old was among 81 riders who failed to make it to the finish line in the hot and humid conditions.
Hong Kong’s Lee Ho-ching, 23, faced world No 4 and reigning Olympic champion Li Xiaoxia from China in the last 16, where she lost 4-0 (5-11, 6-11, 4-11, 4-11). Another local player, Doo Hoi-kem, 19, was also beaten 4-0 (3-11, 5-11, 4-11, 4-11) by China’s top seed Ding Ning in the fourth round.
Meanwhile, world No 8 Wong Chun-ting suffered a narrow 4-3 loss to Japan’s Koki Niwa. Wong took the lead 3-1, but in the fifth set he missed a few crucial points and lost the fifth set 12-10. The Japanese player maintained that momentum and won the following sets, 11-4, 11-8.
Nineteen-year-old Virginia Thrasher of the United States claimed the first Rio gold medal in the women’s 10m air rifle event on Saturday. She finished with 208 points, one ahead of China’s Du Li, the 2004 Athens champion. The defending Olympic champion, China’s Yi Siling, managed to secure a bronze.
China had to wait until Day 2 of the Rio Games to claim its first gold medal. First-time Olympian Zhang Mengxue, 25, took home China’s first gold in the women’s 10-metre air pistol event on Sunday, while London 2012 and Beijing 2008 gold medallist Guo Wenjun did not even make it to the finals.
The attention now switches to the cycling track where Hong Kong’s Sarah Lee Wai-sze is looking to improve on her keirin bronze at the 2012 London Olympics. She will compete in the keirin on Day 8 (9pm on Saturday, Hong Kong time) and the sprint event on Day 9 (3am on Monday, HK time).
Over on the badminton courts, Hong Kong superstar Ng Ka-long will take part in the men’s singles on Day 6 (6.30am on Friday, Hong Kong time). He showed his potential with wins over Olympic champion Lin Dan at the 2015 Hong Kong Open and world No 1 Chen Long in this year’s Singapore Open, so he can compete against the best.