If you’ve been paying attention to the latest local long-distance running events at school-level competitions, it would’ve be hard to miss these names – Cade, Tallulah, and Roxanne Wright, who’ve stood out as the incredible, record-smashing siblings who are dominating the city’s junior endurance running scene.
Just this week, the power trio from St Stephen’s Girls’ College broke several inter-school records and claimed victory at the Kowloon and Hong Kong Island (Division One) Inter-School Athletics Competition, despite it being their first time running in the Division One tournament. Cade, who is the eldest of the three, walked away with two gold medals, two new personal best times, and one new inter-school record.
Speaking to Young Post after her events, the reigning Girls’ B-Grade 1500m and 800m champion said she was thrilled to compete in such as electrifying atmosphere, where students feverishly cheer on their schoolmates. In the 800m event, Cade’s time was 2:16.45, which was only around one second slower than the inter-school record. When asked if she was let down by the close margin, the 15-year-old thought she could have done better.
“If I pushed a little harder, I could’ve set another record. I’m slightly disappointed, but it’s already a new personal best time for me, so I’m still very happy about it,” she said.
Although Cade had held an overwhelming lead from start to finish, the rest still strived hard to contend for second place. Tailing Cade in the B-Grade races was her twin sister Tallulah. Having won the women’s junior 10km at the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon last month, the pressure for Tallulah is real, because everyone was focused on outstripping her.
“Cade was just too fast, so I knew everyone else was going for me. We were all trying to come in second,” said the Form Four student.
While Tallulah did not win gold in the 1500m event, her finishing time was still faster than the old record, and also her best result so far. Competing at one of the biggest school sports events of the year was both exhilarating and nerve-wrecking for the middle child – she is the slightly younger twin – as she was not used to racing in front of such a large crowd.
“I love how the crowd cheers for everyone. But at the same time, I feel like all eyes are on me. If I make one mistake, it would be broadcast on television,” Tallulah said.
Eyes were also on the youngest Wright sister Roxanne, who proved herself to be just as good, or even better than her older siblings, smashing the Girls’ C-Grade 1500m record set by her eldest sister two years ago.
“I was overjoyed. When I crossed the finish line and looked at the time, I was like ‘wow’,” the 14-year-old said.
Long-distance running is just part of what these speedy sisters do. In fact, their main sport is triathlon, which they have been doing for about four years. With all of them involved in the same sport, Tallulah said it is more convenient for their parents, and more importantly, they motivate each other to work harder.
“If it wasn’t for Cade, I would slack off easily. She is always there to tell me to carry on,” said Tallulah.
Since they often compete in the same events, one might think there must be some sibling rivalry.But this isn’t the case in the Wright family: they never hold a grudge against one another over victory or defeat.
“Swimming in triathlon can be a little bit violent at the start line with some pushing and pulling, or a smack in the face. Cade is the worst. She always hits us accidentally,” said Tallulah, laughing.
“We would give each other a look, but it all works out.”
With Cade and Tallulah turning 16 this year, they are stepping up their game to prepare to represent Hong Kong in overseas championships. This means they have to train harder, for up to 18 hours per week. And because they are studying in a local school which is particularly demanding academically, self-discipline becomes the key to balancing the two worlds.
“We really cannot procrastinate, or play with our phones all the time, because according to Mom, school comes first,” said Tallulah.
“But according to Dad, training comes first,” Roxanne chimed in quickly, and the three of them burst into laughter.
It is rare for siblings to fall in love with the same sport, let alone excel in it together. With such a precious bond, and by serving as a support system for each other, the Wright sisters are surely set to go a long way in their sporting career.