The competition is going to be fierce at today's finale of the Inter-School Athletics Championships. Over the past few months, young athletes all over Hong Kong have been working hard in the hopes of making history at the Wan Chai Sports Ground. Sacrifices and promises have been made, but will their dreams be fulfilled?
If Diocesan Girls' School (DGS) wins their ninth consecutive girls' overall championship, it will be thanks to their competitive mentality. Their practices not only train the athletes' strength, skill and endurance, but also how to handle stress and pressure. This is important, as athletes have to be both mentally and physically prepared for competitions.
"To be a champion, we must see the larger picture. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with winning or losing. It is actually more about hard work and confronting challenges," says athletics team co-captain, Rachel Tsui, 16.
"To us, champions are not the ones who always win races, but the ones who just get out there and try. We believe we are champions already because we are all very devoted. We do not only try to win over our opponents, but also ourselves."
Meanwhile, brother school Diocesan Boys' School (DBS) hopes to achieve a third consecutive boys' overall championship. Their training programme started a few months before summer, and has continued with two-hour training sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as well as a special training camp over Christmas.
"Through practices, we hope to bring the best out of our athletes and develop their team spirit," says team captain Michael Chau, 16. "Good teamwork is very important and so is a strong sense of belonging to the school."
But La Salle College (LSC) are also striving to repeat their 2012 glory, and be crowned champions once again. However, athletics team captain Timothy Li, 16, refuses to let the end results define who they are.
"It's my final year competing for LSC. That is why I would like to treasure the time spent on the track rather than putting emphasis on titles and positions," said Timothy. "It's the journey that matters."
Good Hope School (GHS) team captain Wise Poon suffered an injury a month ago, and still hasn't fully recovered. "Despite this setback, I'll still try my best to help my team get as many points as I can," she promised. Wise will compete in the 200m and 400m races and refuses to let her teammates down.
Throughout the school year, Good Hopers have trained four days a week. Strict goals were made for each training session, and athletes could only go home when they had met their coaches' expectations. This was all done to ensure that the athletes do their best - and to prevent DGS achieving yet another championship.
Going into this final day of the competition, DBS is currently the top scorer in the boys' overall with 229.5 points, leading LSC by 67 points. Having broken four records in the past week, DGS is currently first in the girls' overall with 224.5 points, 36 points ahead of GHS. However, this could all change in this afternoon's finals, when the make-or-break relays will take place.