The government on Saturday rolled out a warm welcome for Hong Kong's Asian Games heroes, giving the star athletes a chance to show off the 53 medals they secured for the SAR in Hangzhou.
The official reception at Admiralty saw Chief Executive John Lee present commendation certificates to those who won a medal or broke the Hong Kong record during the games.
Lee congratulated athletes participating in different disciplines, including traditional sports like swimming and new events such as esports and xiangqi, or Chinese chess.
"Hong Kong men's football team played their first ever Asian Games semi-final. The matches attracted many Hongkongers to shopping malls and other places to cheer for the athletes and witness their determination and spirit, sportsmanship and how they fought till the end," he said.
"Your performance makes us proud, and also shows the world a good image of the city, telling good stories of Hong Kong."
Timothy Fok, president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee, said the athletes had created a glorious page in the history of Hong Kong sport.
"This shows that Hong Kong sport is heading for a world-class level... I believe through the hard work and spirit of the athletes and the support from the government and citizens, the soft power of sports culture will continue to expand," he said.
Lee said the achievements showed that the government was going in the right direction in allocating more resources to sports development. He says HK$7.4 billion will be provided in 2023/24, 40 percent more than five years ago.
Separately, sports minister Kevin Yeung said resources were mainly allocated to sports in which local competitors had enjoyed success, but the authorities will discuss with the sector whether more support can be given to disciplines with "good potential".
"We can choose one or two sports that are suitable for Hong Kong, or those who have a chance to get better results if we put in more resources. It's about the question of which came first: the chicken or the egg?" he told a television programme.
Yeung said more support would be given to elite athletes in terms of training and medical assistance.