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Saturday, August 27, 2016, 00:47

HK athletes commended for sportsmanship and perseverance

By Dara Wang
HK athletes commended for sportsmanship and perseverance

Athletes take a selfie with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (center) at a welcome home reception on Friday for the members of the Hong Kong team who participated in the just ended Rio Olympic Games. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Athletes from the Hong Kong delegation to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games received commendations for their exemplary displays of sportsmanship and perseverance on Friday.

Speaking at a welcome home ceremony at Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the athletes’ can-do spirit had made the city proud.

Hong Kong fielded 38 athletes in nine Olympic sports events this year, including cycling, table tennis and swimming. Although the delegation failed to win a medal, Leung said their inspiring characters had already showed Hong Kong spirit at a highest-level sports competition in the world.

Sarah Lee Wai-sze, a bronze medal winner in London 2012, ranked seventh in women's keirin at Rio. Her appearance at the ceremony received loud cheers from the crowd.

Lee said every athlete has to cope with adversity, but keeping positive and being ready for difficult challenges is the most important thing for her.

Lee added she felt upset after crashing out in the race. It was the encouragement and inspiration of Hong Kong people that made her regain her confidence.

Three-time Olympian Stephanie Au Hoi-shun competed in the women’s 4x100m medley relay in Rio. She said she was touched by the team spirit exuded from China’s national women’s volleyball team, which won the gold medal. “I competed in a part of the swimming relay at Rio. I understand very well how crucial team spirit is. Behind their victory in such a tough competition is support and cooperation among teammates.” Au said.

Young rower Chiu Hin-chun, 22, teamed up with Tang Chiu-mang to compete in the men’s lightweight double sculls at Rio. It was Chiu’s first time attending the Olympics. “I had never thought that I could compete with top athletes around the world. Now my dream has come true and I feel very satisfied,” said Chiu, who is ambitious for the 2022 Olympics in Tokyo.

Leung said he was glad to see all the athletes back home beaming with confidence and energy, and hoped to engage more young people in sports through an overhaul of policy.

The government will invest tens of billions of dollars in the construction of Kai Tak Sports City, Hong Kong’s biggest sports complex in future.

President of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, Timothy Fok Tsun-ting said Hong Kong will compete to be the host city of 2023 Summer Youth Olympics if the complex can be finished before 2022.

Fok added that Hong Kong’s Olympics delegation had benefited from experience and exchanges of talented people from the Chinese mainland.

Citing Sarah Lee’s coach Shen Jinkang, as an example, Fok said Shen is from the mainland and his coaching helped the Hong Kong cyclist win a bronze medal in 2012 London Olympics.

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