YOG of the week: Jasmine Lai Zin-man

YOG of the week: Jasmine Lai Zin-man

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Photo: Hong Kong Jockey Club
Name: Jasmine Lai Zin-man
School: Chinese International School
Grade: 13
Sport: Equestrianism

Achievements Jasmine, 18, is a rider from the Hong Kong equestrian team. She won a silver medal in the team competition at The KRA Cup CSI 2* - a two-star international jumping competition over fences 1.1 metres high organised by the Korea Racing Authority - this year.
She also won the FEI World Jumping Challenge (Category A) 120cm and Thailand Young Riders Cup (under-21) 115cm in 2008. She came second in the KRA Cup (team competition) at CSI2* Seoul 2009 and in a Youth Olympic Games (YOG) qualifying event - Beijing Jingchen Club Competition FEI World Jumping Challenge Category A (120cm).

How he qualified 'My second place in the YOG qualifying event gave me the chance to go to the YOG,' said Jasmine.

Soundbite 'I was introduced to the sport by my Mum. She wanted to lose weight through horse riding after giving birth to my elder sister and me. First I rode for fun but I started to have professional training when I was nine,' Jasmine said.
'Our family has spent lots of time and money on training and travelling. My sister and I started to ride in a league competition in Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia] when our foundation skills were comparable with other junior riders. Around four years later, we were able to join competitions in Europe.
'My sister is now based in Denmark. She took a gap year after graduating from secondary school to concentrate on qualifying for the Asian Games in Guangzhou in November.
'I will start my tertiary education in the United States this September right after finishing high school. It is still a long way to go before the next Asian Games and the Olympic Games and I don't want to stop studying. However, I have contacted the coach of the university equestrian team and I will continue to train in college.'

From his coach 'Jasmine is a very natural, capable and competitive rider. She can quickly assess a horse's strengths and weaknesses, allowing her to get the best out of her horse,' said Jasmine's coach, Julian Trevor-Roper.
'I think she has no weakness. Total belief and confidence in her own ability will be strengthened with more experience.'

Insight for the Games 'This is the first Youth Olympics and also the first time I will be competing with so many riders from different nations,' said Jasmine.
'I will know which horse will be my partner after the random draw. My results will depend on my adaptability and control of the horse. The YOG is a real test of skill for all junior riders.'

Kevin Kung will be reporting all the YOG action from Singapore for Young Post

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