Standing on the podium

Standing on the podium

Junior star athletes tell Young Post about their time at the Games and their plans

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Fencing gold medallist Edgar Cheung (left) and squash medallist Choi Uen-shan (left) during the awards ceremony.
Fencing gold medallist Edgar Cheung (left) and squash medallist Choi Uen-shan (left) during the awards ceremony.
Photos: Xinhua
Local athletes did well at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing , which ran from August 16 to 24. They bagged 20 medals - two gold, five silver and 13 bronze. We spoke to some of the medallists.

Gold: Rugby boys' team

Captain James Murray Christie, 17, a scrum-half with the Hong Kong Football Club who studies at Sedbergh School in England, credited Hong Kong's first gold to team spirit.

"We were a really tight group and played well together and for each other," says James. "My favourite moment at the Games was beating Japan 19-12 in the semi-finals. We had to defend hard for the last two minutes. Our rivals were on our line, and we had to hold out."

As icing on the cake, Hong Kong's under-19 boys' squad finished second at this month's Asian Junior Rugby Championship in Taiwan. "The victory in the continental championship will help us qualify for next year's Junior World Rugby Trophy, a prestigious 15s' tournament. So, some of us will get to play together again," James says.


Hong Kong's rugby team stand on the podium after winning gold in the final against Thailand.

Gold: Edgar Cheung Ka-long, foil fencing

Edgar, 16, a Form Four student at Lam Tai Fai College, won his first individual Asian title at the Nanjing International Expo Centre, winning the second gold for Hong Kong at the Games.

He then dashed back home to compete in the annual Junior Fencing Championships held by the Hong Kong Fencing Association on Sunday. He added to his impressive tally by winning gold medals in both the under-17 and under-20 men's foil events.

"My next target is to win two gold medals in both the cadet and junior age categories at next year's Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships. I was the silver medallist in both age groups this year," he says.

Edgar also hopes to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, which will be held next August at the same venue in Nanjing.

"To qualify, I'll need to be among the top two fencers at next year's World Junior and Cadet Fencing Championships. I am confident I can pull it off," he says. "I've set a difficult goal for myself: I want to win a medal in the cadet category at the championships."

Silver and bronze: Choi Uen-shan, girls' squash

Uen-shan won silver in the girls' team event and a bronze in the girls' singles. Earlier, in June, Uen-shan, 17, a Form Six student at Heep Yunn School, won the under-17 girls' individual title at the Asian Junior Squash Championships in Jordan.

"The Games in Nanjing were the first time I have ever stood on the podium during a proper flag-raising ceremony," she says. "I didn't have that chance at the Asian Championships in Jordan.

"I almost cried when I saw we had two [Hong Kong] flags raised during the individual event prize presentation [for second and third place]."

The Asian Youth Games in Nanjing marked the first time squash was included in the competition, so Uen-shan saw it as a valuable experience in her sporting career.

"Standing on the podium at the Youth Games was a magical moment," she recalls. "It will be great if I manage to play equally well at the Asian Games [for adult athletes], too, one day."

Click to see our complete coverage and medals count for the 2013 Asian Youth Games.

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