Delays to connecting flights from Beijing to Baotou, caused by bad weather, meant that they, along with many other Hong Kong competitors, arrived a day late and lost out on adequate rest and sleep.
Only a few hours after arriving at the Games venue, they were up until midnight taking part in the opening ceremony, even though their events were starting the next morning.
The Hong Kong team comprised Cindy Ng Sin-yee, Morris Chan Hei-ting, Esther Tsang Ka-lok, Christine Cheung Cho-hang, Sammie Liu Sin-yee and the lone boy, Alan Ng Ho-laam. They found themselves completing the heats of their five events - individual boys, individual girls, mixed pairs, trio and group - in the shortest time for any competition at the Games.
Morris, a Form Four student at Yuen Long Public Secondary School, said: "There is a lot of greenery outdoors in Baotou. We all love the smell of grass and that helped refresh our minds although we all felt very tired."
Cindy, a Form Five student at HKMA David Li Kwok Po College, who took part in the trio event with Morris and Sammie - a Form Three student from Maryknoll Convent School - admitted to being tired but did her best.
"It is important that we enjoy the two-minute performance and have no regrets in the end," she said.
Team captain Christine impressed the judges with her best competitive score in the girls' singles event - 17.25 - and finished 11th out of 17 gymnasts. "I usually score 15 to 16 points, so it is amazing to have done much better here," she said.