Let the Games begin

Let the Games begin

Four budding sports stars cannot wait to start competing at tomorrow's fourth Hong Kong Games

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(From left) Nestor Wong, Vincent Wong, Yuen Cheuk-yin and Kitty Lo.
(From left) Nestor Wong, Vincent Wong, Yuen Cheuk-yin and Kitty Lo.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP
There is only one day to go before the grand opening ceremony of the fourth Hong Kong Games at Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground tomorrow night.

Thousands of athletes from 18 districts will be competing over the next month. With no age limitations, junior athletes can show off their skills in eight different sports featured in the biennial event.

Yuen Cheuk-yin, 14, a Form Three student at La Salle College, will be competing in tennis for the first time. "I wanted to join the Games two years ago," Cheuk-yin says. "I won the Eastern District selection, but then I moved to Kowloon City District, where the selection process was already over. In the end, I couldn't represent either district."

The tennis tournament started before the Games' opening ceremony, and Cheuk-yin has already reached the men's singles semi-finals. He plays Michael Tam Ching-yeung, a first-year student at the Community College of City University, on Monday.

"I have been looking forward to the competition for the past two years and I really want to win a medal," says Cheuk-yin.

To create a level playing field for up-and-coming athletes, those who have represented Hong Kong at major competitions are not eligible to compete in the Games. That's why Vincent Wong Wing-chun, 18, almost missed out on playing at the event.

The volleyball star was to have represented Hong Kong at this month's National Games on the mainland. But the trip was cancelled because of the H7N9 flu outbreak, so he can take part in the Games.

"I helped Tai Po qualify for the Games, but this will be my debut," he says.

However, his junior team face an uphill battle. "Our team are not as good as some other teams with many First Division league players," says Vincent, a first-year social science student at the Community College of City University. "But I think it's cool to play in a team with people from the same district."

Runner Nestor Wong Wai-chung, 18, will be representing the Islands District. He is expecting a great athletics competition.

"The Games' results are counted in the Hong Kong rankings," says Nestor, a first-year nursing student at the University of Hong Kong.

He came second in the men's 5,000m at the 2011 Games. He doesn't mind if the recent bad weather continues when he races on May 18 and 19.

"Last time we ran in stormy weather," says Nestor, who hopes to claim the 5,000m gold medal this time. "Many athletes dislike running on a wet track, but I like competing in adverse weather conditions."

Kitty Lo Lok-yee, 18, a first-year engineering student at Polytechnic University, says that she plans to enjoy the Games.

In 2011 she finished second in the women's table tennis singles, and helped her district, Sha Tin, win the team event.

"My target is to play more matches and to really enjoy the moment," she says.

For full details and updated results, go to http://hongkonggames.lcsd.gov.hk

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