The All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Table Tennis Tournament 2018, held on Monday, might just be another typical inter-school competition for most players, but it was far more meaningful for La Salle College’s (LSC) Prince Choy Chun-kit, who pulled on the LSC jersey one last time.
The 15-year-old partnered with Fung Chun-wai to win the boys’ doubles title. The duo had only trained together for two weeks, but both had set their sights on the prize and outplayed the Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS) pair, winning 3-1.
Their victory did not only stop DBS from winning a fourth consecutive title, it was also a huge breakthrough for LSC, who had missed out on the prize for nine years.
Clutching the trophy and wearing a big smile, Prince said he could not have asked for a better way to end his time with LSC’s table tennis team.
“It had always been my ambition to win the boys’ doubles title at the Jing Ying tournament for LSC. I am so thrilled to be able to accomplish this before I leave. I have no regrets,” he said.
The Form Four student has been a member of Hong Kong’s junior squad for three years, and he had recently decided to become a full-time table tennis player.
Prince started school in Lam Tai Fai College on Tuesday, one day after the Jing Ying Tournament.
His new school has a partnership with the Hong Kong Sports Institute, providing a more flexible study timetable for full-time student athletes such as Prince.
Although Prince will no longer compete for LSC, he left his team and schoolmates on a positive note.
“I wish LSC’s sports teams the best of luck in their future competitions, and I’m sure they will achieve impressive results. I also hope more schoolmates will carry on the school’s tradition of supporting their teams. Their cheers really boost the athletes’ confidence,” he said.
While Prince chose to advance his career in table tennis by devoting more time to training, Brian Wong Hon-lam of DBS has decided to stop training with the national team.
The Form Four student was the underdog in the boys’ singles final on Monday, but he caused a huge upset by defeating the more experienced Yu Nok, who is also from DBS.
Brian told Young Post he had pulled out of the Hong Kong junior squad to prepare for the HKDSE.
A lot of people were surprised by Brian’s choice, because he is likely to miss out on representing Hong Kong in regional and international competitions. But the 15-year-old said he would stick to his guns, and show everyone that he can do well in future competitions.
“I don’t think leaving the junior team is a bad decision. After all, I still get to see my teammates in local competitions. Today’s result proved that I have the ability to reach the top, even when I’m not with the national team any more,” said Brian.