Press Release

July 27, 2012

WHEEL OF FORTUNE IN LEE’S HANDS

London, July 27: Lee Wai-sze will carry the medal hopes of Hong Kong’s 42-strong athletes’ contingent at the London Games which gets underway today with an opening ceremony which is expected to be rich in history and drama.

LEE, the 25-year-old cycling track star, returns to the scene of her triumph five months ago when she stunned the world by winning the silver medal in Keirin at the London leg of the World Cup which also doubled as a test event for the Olympics.

That performance will have boosted LEE’s confidence sky-high, especially as she left the top three medalists at the Beijing Games – Victoria PENDLETON of Britain (gold), Anna MEAVES of Australia (silver) and China’s GUO Shuang (bronze) – in her wake.

“I know I am among the top riders following my performance in the London test event in February and my ultimate target is to get a top three position at these Games,” said a confident LEE on the eve of the Games.

The Women’s Keirin race is being staged for the first time in the Olympics and LEE will be in an 18-strong field for the competition on August 3 where the medal winners will be decided in a matter of three hours.

Her first step will be to ensure that she finished in the top 12 after the heats – three groups of six riders. Following that, she will have to finish in the top six after the second round which will earn her a berth in the final.

“With a little luck and by attacking at the right time and right place, she can win a medal,” said head cycling coach SHEN Jinkang.

She will probably carry Hong Kong’s best hopes of winning a medal and all eyes will be on the London Velopark a week from now. Attention will also be on the road race and veteran rider WONG Kam-po who at 39, is taking part in his fifth Olympics, a Hong Kong record.

WONG, a three-time Asian Games gold medalist in the road race, will rub shoulders with Tour de France winner Bradley WIGGINS, and will be hoping he will be able to keep close to the powerful Great Britain team who are hot favourites to win the gold.

After the gold medal heroics of LEE Lai-shan at the 1996 Atlanta Games and the silver medal-winning exploits of KO Lai-chak and LI ching in the men’s doubles in table tennis at the 2004 Athens Games, Hong Kong returned home empty-handed from Beijing. 

The closest they got to a medal was the women’s table tennis team reaching the second-round of the bronze medal play-off against Japan. In London, there is an outside chance the women paddlers can succeed.

TIE Yana, JIANG Huajun and LEE Ho-ching, who are seeded fifth at these Games, will once again be expected to go close while TIE, 33, will also be hoping to finish a stellar career by winning a medal in the women’s singles.

Calvin LEE Kar-Wai will be the first local athlete to be in action when he lines up at test cricket’s famous Lords ground for the Archery competition. Unlike Wong, this is the first occasion for Lee at the Olympics and he will be hoping his nerves will be steady for his debut appearance.

Hong Kong’s Badminton squad gets into action on the day following the opening ceremony with Vincent WONG Wing-ki and YIP Pui-yin in action in the Men’s and Women’s Singles. Hong Kong will also feature in the Women’s Doubles with TSE Ying-suet and POON Lok-yan.

Apart from Kam-po and Wai-sze (who will also take part in the sprint), Hong Kong’s Cycling Squad will also feature CHOI Ki-ho (Men’s Omnium), CHAN Chun-hing (Men’s Mountain Bike Cross Country), and Jamie Wong Wan-yiu (Women’s Road Race).

In Fencing the HKSAR will be strongly represented by a six-strong squad – Lam Hin-chung (men’s individual sabre), Leung Ka-ming (men’s individual epee), Nicholas Edward CHOI (men’s individual foil), LIN Po-heung (women’s individual foil), YEUNG Chui-ling (women’s individual epee) and AU Sin-ying (women’s individual sabre).

SHEK Wai-hung (Floor, Pommel Horse, Vault and Horizontal Bar) and Angel WONG Hiu-ying (Women’s all around) will see Hong Kong returning to the Olympics in gymnastics while Judo’s sole representative is CHEUNG Chi-yip in the Men’s under 73 kilogram category.

The new combination of LEUNG Chun-shek and LOK Kwan-hoi will feature in the Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls in Rowing while SO Sau-wah will be the sole entry In the Men’s Single Sculls.

Shooting and Weightlifting will have one entry each – IP Pui-yi in the Women’s 10 Metre Air Pistol and YU Weili in the Women’s 53 kilogram category.

Hannah WILSON, a bronze medalist at the 2012 British Championships in the Women’s 100 metres Freestyle will spearhead Hong Kong’s swimming contingent which will also include Natasha TANG Wing-yung (Women’s Open Water), Stephanie AU Hoi-shun (Women’s 100 and 200m Backstroke) and SZE Hang-yu (Women’s 200m Freestyle).

The Women’s Table Tennis squad is joined by male counterparts TANG Peng, JIANG Tianyi and LEUNG Chun-yan who will figure in the singles and team events.

Hayley CHAN Hei-man has recovered from her rib injury suffered in the build-up to the Games and will line up in the Women’s RSX in windsurfing while Andy LEUNG Ho-chun does likewise in the men’s category.

It will be the last time that Windsurfing will be held at the Olympics – Kitesurfing will replace this Sailing discipline at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games – and Hong Kong will be hopeful it can give the class a warm send-off by winning a medal as it was the first sport in which Hong Kong won an Olympic medal.

But the chances are more likely that it will be cyclist LEE who will bring home a medal from London.

Post Notes:
The Hong Kong Athletics Team was not yet in London at the time of writing this article.