TRACK CYCLIST SARAH LEE WINS HONG KONG’S FIRST GOLD IN INCHEON
Incheon, 21 September, 2014 – Cycling golden girl Sarah LEE Wai-sze won Hong Kong its first medal at the 17th Asian Games, and it was golden too, as she blitzed a strong field in the women’s keirin final on Sunday.
Hong Kong’s Olympic-winning track cyclist, she won a bronze medal in this same event at the 2012 London Olympics, was in domineering form as she swept to victory over Malaysia’s surprise silver medallist Fatehah Binti MUSTAPA and China’s ZHONG Tianshi who had to settle for bronze.
“I didn’t realise this was also the first gold for Hong Kong, but I am very happy to have made it,” said delighted LEE. “But it is not over for I want to win the sprint as well.”
Chinese riders ZHONG and LIN Junhong made their move in the penultimate lap of the six-lap race but LEE refused to relinquish her lead to give Hong Kong the first taste of victory in Incheon.
It was the second Asian Games gold medal for the 27-year-old LEE who had also clinched glory on the track in the 500 metres time trial in Guangzhou in 2010.
All the months of hard work LEE put in for these Games ended in joy and delight as she punched the air after she crossed the line. She gave high fives with team officials before going on a victory lap with the Bauhinia Flag.
LEE had trained since July in northeast South Korea on a track similar to the one at the outdoor Incheon International velodrome which has a lap-distance of 333 metres instead of the usual 250 metres.
But it hardly mattered for the Hong Kong champion as she breezed through her heat finishing first, and ahead of former world record-holder ZHONG in the 2000 metres, and laying a marker for the final.
She said before the race that Hong Kong and hosts Korea would have an advantage of having got acclimatized to the track conditions and her words were proven right as she triumphed in style.
LEE who took up cycling 11 years ago after being identified in the Hong Kong Rising Star’s programme, was full of smiles as she posed for photographers and when she was garlanded with the gold medal by Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, President of SF&OC.
Her victory will not go un-noticed in government circles with the Secretary for Home Affairs TSANG Tak-sing who was spotted celebrating her victory among the large crowd.
LEE is also tipped for gold in the individual sprint became a star in Hong Kong when she won the first cycling medal at an Olympics, and only the third overall following LEE Lai-shan’s windsurfing gold at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the silver medal won by men’s table tennis duo LI Ching and KO Lai-chak at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Hong Kong also won two bronze medals in fencing and one bronze medal in Swimming. LIN Po-heung grabbed the medal in the women’s individual foil event while LAM Hin-chung clinched the other in men’s individual sabre. Women’s 4x100 freestyle relay team (AU Hoi Shun Stephanie, CHENG Camille Lily Mei, Siobhan Bernadette HAUGHEY and SZE Hang Yu) won the third bronze medal.