Judoka goes for gold

Judoka goes for gold

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Homer Leung with coach Law Wai-keung.
Homer Leung with coach Law Wai-keung.
Photo: Kevin Kung/SCMP
Hong Kong's sole Asian Youth Games judo representative, Homer Leung Hon-man, has set his sights on bagging a medal in Nanjing this month.

The Form Three student from Po Leung Kuk Ma Kam Ming College will take part in the under-55kg boys' category competition at Longjiang Gymnasium on August 17.

Along with coach Law Wai-keung, the two-man squad is one of the smallest in the local delegation. The only other sport for which Hong Kong is sending only an athlete and a coach is diving.

Homer has been preparing for this multisport showpiece for months. He has joined numerous competitions this year, together with two training camps, one in Japan in February and the other in Xiamen , Fujian , which started two days ago.

The 15-year-old won a silver medal at the J Cup youth competition in Malaysia last month.

"Our team intended to use this tournament as part of the warm-up plan," says Law. "Before Malaysia, we also sent Homer to South Korea and Taiwan. We want him to gain more overseas experience before the Games."

During the summer, Homer takes turns training with four teams - the Hong Kong team, Hong Kong junior team, Sheung Shui Judo Club and the Young Athletes Training Scheme. He trains every day.

The intensive training may help to soothe Homer's nerves, especially in the opening match.

"I always take some time to get into form, and I feel the pressure in the first match," he says.

"I need some time to adapt, as I usually don't perform very well at the start.

"However, starting from the second match, I am always at full power and can do what I want. This is not an ideal situation, but I have improved in recent competitions."

Homer has been training for nine years. He started by joining a judo class organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department when he was in Primary One.

"I found the sport very skilful," he says.

"It's a kind of combat in which you need technique to beat your opponent, not simply your power or your fist."

After years of training, Homer says he's best at using his legs to lift his opponent and throw him to the ground.

Homer maintains a balanced diet to meet the weight requirements of his category. "Whether there is a competition or not, I always eat in a healthy way. I keep my weight between 53 and 54kg, so I won't have any problem at the weigh-in."

At the Games, Homer and other athletes in the same weight category will be divided into two groups. Each group will start with the quarter-finals. And the winner of each group will fight for the gold and silver medals. The losers in the semi-finals will battle for bronze.

"I want to win the gold medal," he says. "But in case I don't enter the final two, I will go all out for the bronze."


Also, see Kevin's previews of Hong Kong's other representatives to the 2013 Asian Youth Games:

- Athletics
- Badminton
- Fencing
- Football
- Girls' rugby
- Golf
- Handball
- Rugby
- Squash
- Swimming
- Table tennis
- Tennis

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