Diocesan Boys’ School’s elite sprinter Don Leung Dun-pok has earned a reputation for explosive power in short distance races, including the 100m and 200m. The 17-year-old sprinter told Young Post that preparation is key. But his meticulous planning has not only led him to individual success, it has also been good news for his school’s athletic team.
Apart from drilling skills for short distance races, Don’s training focuses on muscle building and conditioning. “Weight training includes developing my leg muscles, which provide a strong foundation for striding and running fast. I also focus on my arms because they drive me forward and manage the tension in my whole body. Aerobic conditioning, such as long distance running, improves my endurance and core muscle strength,” said Don.
However, Don’s idea of proper preparation extends beyond the gym; it also involves maintaining a healthy body and mind.
Don stresses the importance of recovery, and credits this as something that ensures he is in perfect form on race day. “Overtraining doesn’t work, as it usually results in more injuries. I remember when I was racing in the 100m finals at the SCAA Inter-School Athletics Meet in 2014, I fractured my leg. It happened because I trained too hard and didn’t get enough rest. It took a while to recover, and that pain reminded me not to push myself to the extreme.”
So in the month leading up to the Inter-School Athletics Meet this year, due to take place on March 3, the DBS sprinter will focus on his recovery to repair his muscles. He will make sure he gets enough sleep and eats healthily. The day before the games he’ll plan his tactics. Once he completes a race, he’ll review it and assess how he could run better, such as starting more forcefully or accelerating in the last 30 metres, for example.
“Another advantage of recovery is that it gives me time to rest and calm my nerves. I tend to get stressed before competitions. But recovery is peaceful and stops me from worrying too much.”
As well as balancing body and mind, Don’s effective plans and leadership also helped the school to claim the overall title at the Inter-School Athletics Competition last year. “Kelvin Tsoi Hong-yuen and I worked hard as our school’s athletics team captains to boost our team spirit. We held several group meetings, played promotional videos and gave advice to junior students. These activities enabled us to send a strong message to our team that we win as a team rather than as an individual,” Don said.
This year’s Division One Inter-School Athletics Competition (Kowloon and Hong Kong Island) finals will see a fierce rivalry between Don and Yu Chun Keung Memorial College’s 18-year-old Herry Wong Cheuk-hei. Both of them will race in the A-grade boys 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. In last year’s finals, Don claimed a gold medal in the 200m beating Herry, who later took a revenge on Don by winning the 100m.
“Herry is definitely a strong sprinter with good stability. He sometimes takes the lead so he’s the target I can ‘chase’. He always sets the bar high and this makes me clock a faster time, too. But our races are what I would describe as friendly competition.”
Don’s ultimate goal, he insisted, is to help the school win the overall title for the fifth consecutive year.
Who is your favourite athlete?
American star athlete Trayvon Bromell. I’m impressed by his powerful strides and perfect running posture. His style is something I hope to emulate. I hope that I can make my dream come true by competing with him in an international tournament.
You can have the abilities of any animal for one competition. Which do you choose and why?
A lion. Called the king of the jungle, lions are associated with fearlessness. I need that feeling during competitions.
What song title best describes you when you’re playing your sport?
Gym Class Heroes’ The Fighter. Its inspirational lyrics always give me a boost before a race.
What food would you never give up?
Sushi and sashimi. Add some soy sauce and wasabi and you can’t go wrong!