LOK MAKES HISTORY WINNING FIRST ASIAN GOLD MEDAL IN ROWING FOR HONG KONG
Incheon, 24 September, 2014 – LOK Kwan-hoi fought off South Korean opponent LEE Hak Beom to enter the history books by becoming the first Hong Kong rower to win an Asian Games gold medal.
LOK, 27, grabbed gold in the men’s lightweight single sculls and led the charge of rowers who also won two silver medals on Wednesday to propel Hong Kong up the medal standings.
A determined LOK held off a late spurt by Korean LEE to win the gruelling 2,000 metre race at a rainswept Chungju Tangeum Lake Rowing Centre in seven minutes 25.04 seconds.
Hong Kong’s two silver medals were won by LEE Ka-man in the women’s singles sculls and CHOW Kwong-wing and Tang Chiu-man in the men’s lightweight double sculls.
“I’m really happy to be the first Hong Kong rower to win a gold medal at the Asian Games,” said a beaming LOK who was taking part in his third Asian Games. “I put in a lot of hard work for these Games and I’m happy it has paid off.”
LOK, who finished fourth in this same event at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou had to fight hard for success. He led from the start but lost his lead to India’s Dushiant DUSHYANT at the 500 metre mark before clawing it back. Then in the closing stages, LOK had to ward off home favourite LEE who was closing in quickly.
“It was a very challenging race for LOK and he did very well to hang in and win it,’ said proud Hong Kong head coach Chris PERRY. “The conditions out here was hard and despite the attentions of the other two rowers, he kept calm and composed under pressure.”
LEE won the silver medal in 7:25.95 while DUSHYANT took bronze in 7:26.57.
LEE Ka-man also turned in a superb performance to grab silver in the women’s single sculls, South Korean KIM Yeuil won gold in 8:46.52 with LEE second in 8:59.91. TA Thanh Huyen from Vietnam took the bronze medal in 9:16.36.
The medal success was welcomed by Chef de Mission Karl KWOK Chi-leung who said: “Every little bit counts. We expected Rowing to do well but this is exceptional. Our target is the 40 medals we won in Guangzhou and there is still a long way to go.”
The Rowing haul lifted Hong Kong on Wednesday into ninth place overall in the medal standings with a tally of 16 medals including two gold, three silver and 11 bronze medals.
On Tuesday, GENG Xiaoling won Hong Kong a silver medal in Wushu in Women’s Changquan.