Five Hong Kong teams - aerobics, badminton, wushu, athletics and swimming - found their flight from Beijing to Baotou delayed because of bad weather on Friday night. But all the members of Hong Kong's 176-strong delegation of coaches, athletes and officers took part in Saturday night's opening ceremony at Baotou's Olympic Sports Centre,
Later, flag-bearer Daniel Siu Cheong-hung, a member of the boys' volleyball team, helped Hong Kong weather another storm, as they overcame a fightback by Shandong to reach the semi-finals.
Daniel had led the delegation into the arena hours after his team's 3-0 triumph over Inner Mongolia. "The flag is very heavy, but I needed to keep waving it to the crowd. I had mixed feelings about it; I was excited, but also exhausted - and I felt a bit nervous," he said.
On Sunday, despite feeling tired, Daniel inspired his team to a tense 3-2 win over Shandong. The evenly matched teams both needed to win to reach the last four.
Hong Kong had fought back after losing the first set to lead 2-1, only for Shandong to level the match. In the nerve-wracking final set, Hong Kong - assisted by Wong Ho-kiu's fine defence and excellent blocking by Alex Chan Chi-wai - secured victory after a two-and-a-half-hour battle.
Team manager Law Wing-fai said: "New players like Jonathan To Sik-lok and Lam Cheuk-hin also played very well. The teams were very well matched and rarely made errors. It was a tough game."
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