Several new records were established as Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS) and Heep Yunn School were crowned overall champions at an inter-school rowing competition at Harbour Road Sports Centre last Saturday.
La Salle College and Yu Chun Keung Memorial School came second and third, respectively, in the boys’ category of the Hong Kong Island & Kowloon Secondary Schools Competition – BOCHK Indoor Rowing Cup. For the girls, Heep Yunn were followed by Diocesan Girls’ School and Good Hope School.
Yu Chun Keung’s Chan Chi-fung, 18, won gold in the A-grade boys’ 1,000 metres in a record time of 3:07.9.
Chi-fung also scooped a gold medal at the Australian Open Rowing Championships in Sydney in March. He said the inter-school competition was a good rehearsal for the Asian Junior Rowing Championships, to be held in October in Thailand.
“After my poor start in the lightweight singles sculls in Australia, I decided to race a shorter distance at the inter-school competition,” said Chi-fung. “In the 1,000m race, you need to use your speed and power to make a strong start, which puts you in a good position to win the race.”
Chi-fung said he focused more on his rowing posture and leg muscles to boost his power. “A good posture will help you to move your pelvis properly, giving you more power and accelerating your speed. Rowing is also based on your leg muscles, so it’s important to put emphasis on building your quadriceps,” he said.
DBS’ Sam Tsoi Kin-san, 17, set a new record in the A-grade boys’ 500m with a time of 1:27.1. Sam, who won gold in the A-grade boys’ discus at the Inter-school Athletics Competition in February, said there was something similar between the two sports.
“Both sports require huge back and leg power, so exercises like squats and deadlifts are indispensable. They helped develop my back and leg muscles which helped me row faster,” said Sam.
In the girls’ A-grade 2,000m, the winner, Katie Helen de Vos, 17, of West Island School, broke the race record with a time of 07:39.8. Katie said she focused on holding her split times and stroke rate, as well as practising the all-important final sprint at the end.
“In the race, I was coming fourth initially. My initial sprint wasn’t as long as the other competitors’, and the split time I was holding wasn’t as fast either,” she said. “But the other competitors couldn’t [maintain the pace], and I moved into second place. When I was close to the end, I put everything I had into a final sprint and ended up first.”
Yau Wing-sze, 15, from SKH St Benedict’s School, broke the A-grade girls’ 500m record when she clocked 1:38.2. Her coach, Chan Kam-hung, said her physical advantage was key to winning the race.