The first day of the 19th Asian Games concluded on Sunday with Hong Kong bringing home two golds and five bronze medals.
China won the first gold of the day in the women’s light-weight double sculls rowing event.
The Hong Kong rowing duo, Lam San-tung and Wong Wai-chun, won the territory's first gold in the 2,000 metres rowing event. For the first half, they were trailing the Uzbekistan rowers, but they overtook their opponents just after halfway and pulled in front to cross the finish line in 6 minutes and 44 seconds.
"I understand Mandarin and Cantonese, which gave me a sense of belonging when we sprinted. Even though I didn't know what they were saying exactly, I felt excited. It made me realise that they were cheering me on, and I couldn't let them down," Lam told the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong after the match.
Meanwhile, fencer Edgar Cheung sealed a comfortable victory in the men's foil event. The Olympic champion beat China's Chen Haiwei 15-2 to secure Hong Kong's second gold medal of the day.
Cheung told HOY TV that the experience was surreal.
"I don't know how to describe the feeling. I was very relaxed, but I obviously wanted to win when I stepped on stage. When I finished, I felt fine again so I had very contradictory feelings," he said.
"I think this is just something an athlete must get used to. Sometimes you might not be in the best spot mentally, but you have to adjust the minute you step on stage."
Cheung's team-mate Ryan Choi earlier won the bronze medal along with Japan's Takahiro Shikine.
In the women's epee individual fencing event, Vivian Kong won the bronze medal after losing to Korea's Song Sera 15-11 in the semi-finals.
The referee issued a warning and a penalty hit card to both fencers for inactivity when the score remained at zero after two minutes.
Song then quickly took the lead, with Kong falling six points behind. Although the Hong Kong star was then able to win four points in a row, it wasn't enough to catch her opponent.
In wushu, Chen Suijin who the first bronze medal for the SAR in the women's Taiji-jian event with a total score of 19.476, narrowly beating the Philippines’ Agatha Wong.
Finally, the day ended with two bronze medals in swimming. Olympic silver medallist Siohban Haughey won the first one in the 50 metres breaststroke final.
She finished with a new Hong Kong record time of 30.36 seconds, trailing 0.18 seconds behind Japan's Satomi Suzuki. Tang Qianting of China topped the podium with a new Asian record of 29.26 seconds.
"This medal is very meaningful to me because Hong Kong doesn't have lot of individual medals for swimming. Today is only the first day and we still have many races to go so I have to redirect my focus now," she told HOY TV after the race.
Haughey had previously set a new Hong Kong record in the morning heats with a time of 30.46 seconds.
And finally, the women's 4x100 metres freestyle relay team won the last medal of the day. Camille Cheng started the race in fifth place, before Siobhan Haughey helped Hong Kong catch up. Karen Tam then put the team back in medal contention, with Stephanie Au finishing the race in 3 minutes 39.10 seconds.
China currently top the medal chart with 30 medals, followed by Korea with 14, and Japan also with 14. Hong Kong are currently ranked fourth with two golds, and five bronze.
Two golds for Hong Kong on Day 1 of the Asian Games
2023-09-25 HKT 00:35
Lam San-tung and Wong Wai-chun won the territory's first gold in the 2,000 metres rowing event. Photo courtesy of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee
Edgar Cheung beat China's Chen Haiwei 15-2 to secure Hong Kong's second gold medal of the day. Photo courtesy of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee
The Hong Kong women's 4x100 metres freestyle relay team won the last medal of the day. Photo courtesy of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee
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