Hong Kong has sent 24 athletes to the 2016 Rio Paralympics which started yesterday. They will compete in eight events – archery, athletics, equestrian, shooting, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing and boccia, a game similar to lawn bowls. YP cadet Michelle Leung takes a look at the past performances of some of our athletes heading to Rio.
Alison Yu Chui-yee, 32, will defend the women’s individual foil and epee (category A) titles. She has collected seven gold medals since the 2004 Athens Paralympics. Yu lost part of her left leg to bone cancer as a girl.
Another fencing queen, Chan Yui-chong, 33, will take part in the same events. She won gold in the women’s individual foil and epee (category B) at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
Tam Chik-sum is also competing in foil and epee. The 28-year-old won silver in the men’s individual epee at the London Paralympics in 2012.
Chan Wing-kin, 30, will compete in sabre and foil. He won bronze at the London Paralympics.
Ng Justine Charissa, Chung Yuen-ping, and Cheong Meng-chai round up Hong Kong’s fencing team in Brazil.
Choi Wa-kit, 18, and Kelvin Tang Wai-lok, 19, will compete in the S14 200m freestyle and SM14 individual medley events. Choi and Tang will also take part in SB14 100m breaststroke and S14 100m backstroke, respectively.
Hong Kong’s Paralympics gold medallist Leung Yuk-wing will compete in the individual and pairs BC4 categories.
The 31-year-old, who won gold at Athens 2004, rose to world No 1 in the individual BC4 category, helping Hong Kong to do the same in pairs.
In 2014, he was world champion and Asian Games gold medallist, while last year he won two gold medals and a bronze at the BISFed World Open in South Korea and Colombia. He was born with arthrogryposis, which means his joints are curved or crooked.
Karen Kwok Hoi-ying will take part in the individual BC2 and team BC1-2 events. She hopes to repeat her 2008 Beijing Paralympics performance where she won gold in the mixed individual BC-2 category.
Hong Kong’s boccia squad also includes Leung Mei-yee, Yeung Hiu-lam, John Loung, Ho Yuen-kei, Lau Wai-yan Vivian, and Wong Kwan-hang.
The Hong Kong team has a new athletics star – 19-year-old Yam Kwok-fan – who will take part in the T36 100m and 200m. She will hope to follow in the footsteps of “magic kid” So Wa-wei, who won 12 Paralympic medals. Yam was nominated for the Hong Kong Junior Sport Stars Award 2015.
Wong Yan-wo, 42, will take part in the P1 10m Air Pistol event. He came ninth in the 2015 IPC Shooting World Cup in Sydney, Australia, last year, and qualified for a spot at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Choi Yuen-lung, 39, who is ranked No 33 in the world, will compete in the women’s individual compound – open.
Hong Kong’s Paralympics gold medallist Wong Ka-man, 30, will defend her women’s singles (Class 11) title. Her 19-year-old teammate, Ng Mui-wui, will also compete in the same event.
Wong Pui-yi, 55, will fight for a title in the women’s singles (Class 5).
Natasha Tse Pui-ting, 19, will compete in the Individual Championship and Team Tests.
Tse, who was born one-and-a-half months early, developed cerebral palsy as an infant. The condition affects movement, muscle control, and balance. When Tse was four years old, a social worker suggested that she try horse riding as therapy to help strengthen her leg muscles and give her a greater sense of balance and confidence.