Asian junior champion, Chan Chi-fung, beat a strong field to win gold at the Australian Open Rowing Championships in Sydney.
Altogether, the Hong Kong team scooped two gold, three silver and one bronze medal at the event held from March 14-20.
Chi-fung won the under 21 men’s lightweight singles sculls competing against more than 30 international rowers. It was the first time he had competed in the category.
Speaking to Young Post yesterday, Chi-fung said he hadn’t expected to win a medal because opponents like the Australian rowing team were far stronger than Hong Kong.
“Chris Perry [Hong Kong’s head coach] told me to gain experience by competing with the world’s leading rowers, so I didn’t put myself under lot of pressure. I also believed my endurance was good enough to compete with my rivals,” said the 17-year-old.
Chi-fung said he hoped to improve a lot before the Asian Junior Rowing Championships in October in Thailand. “Although I won, I had a poor start [in the lightweight singles sculls in Australia]. My power in the last 100 metres in the final wasn’t strong enough. The competition enabled me to identify what I needed to improve, and I will focus more on my start and speed during my training,” he said.
Coach Perry was satisfied, especially with Chi-fung’s performance.
“There was a strong field of over 30 scullers in Sydney, so it would have been easy for Chi-fung to be nervous, but he coped very well,” he said.
Perry encouraged Chi-fung to focus on improvement. “Technically he needs to be more stable in windy conditions and to focus as much as possible on the process of making good strokes - rather than looking too much at what his opponents are doing,” he said. “Sometimes young rowers think too much. The most important thing is just to get more experience by racing in different events, different conditions and different boat types.”