HAPPY HONG KONG RETURN FROM ASIAN GAMES WITH LARGE HAUL
Incheon, 4 October, 2014 – The 17th Asian Games was an unqualified success for Hong Kong said top official Karl Kwok Chi-leung as the showpiece came to a glittering end at a colourful closing ceremony on Saturday.
"We didn’t match our gold medal haul from Guangzhou four years ago but we still won more medals than last time and I’m very proud of the effort everyone, not only the medal winners, put in," said Hong Kong chef de mission Kwok.
Hong Kong finished with a total of 42 medals – six gold, 12 silver and 24 bronze medals. Track cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze won a historic two gold medals becoming the first local athlete to do so at one Games, while the other four gold medals were won by gymnast Shek Wai-hung, windsurfers Cheng Kwok-fai and Hayley Chan Hei-man, and rower Lok Kwan-hoi.
It is the first time that Hong Kong had won gold medals in gymnastics and rowing, a fact which Kwok welcomed and said proved the standards were improving across the board.
"For me the two most outstanding moments of our Games came in the lightweight men’s singles scull when Lok became the first local rower to win an Asian Games gold medal as well as gymnast Shek’s achievement.
"Here we had a guy who fell at the London Olympics yet showed courage and determination to bounce back and win a gold medal. And he did it in style by beaten the Olympic and world champion," Kwok pointed out.
"While we have been very competitive at the Games, I have also noticed the maturity of our athletes has improved."
Hong Kong fielded its largest delegation at the Asian Games with a total of 643 members including a record 468 athletes and 175 officials. More team sports were also allowed to take part.
"We gave team sports the chance this time thanks to more support (funding) from the government but unfortunately we only got a silver medal in rugby sevens," Kwok said.
"We thought cricket could also get a bronze medal but that didn’t work out. Our footballers did well by reaching the second round where we met South Korea and I thought we played quite well holding them scoreless in the first half.
"But other than these examples, team sports did not fare quite as well but we will try and continue to support them. The next Asian Games (2018) is in Jakarta and that is also not too far away and if we have the funding we will continue to send team sports.
"But in the future they will have to start showing some results. We will carefully screen them," Kwok said.
With most of the athletes having returned home, only a small number of around 20 took part in the closing ceremony on Saturday night. There was no flag-bearer as organisers had deemed that all teams would walk in together following the style of the London Olympics.
"If we were comparing apples with apples, we won fewer gold medals and silver medals than in Guangzhou, but I’m still very happy with our overall effort. We are place 10th by number of medals won which is a great achievement for a territory like ours," Kwok added.