Preparing for the Hangzhou Asian Games
Nine members of the Hong Kong Sailing Team aim to win medals
The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou will start on September 23. The Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China and the Hong Kong Sports Institute co-held the “Meet the Media Session – Hong Kong Sailing Athletes” at the Little Palm Beach Sailing Center on 25th August. There are nine athletes who will participate in the sailing events of the Asian Games.
VIP guests have been invited to the media session, including Ms. Meihan Cheung, President of the Sailing Federation of Hong Kong, China; Dr. Trisha Leahy, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, Harris Tsolis and Rory Godman, the Head Sailing Coach and the Sailing Coach of the Hong Kong Sports Institute respectively. President Meihan said in her welcome speech that she is grateful for the full support from the Hong Kong Sports Institute towards Hong Kong Sailing Athletes. She mentioned that the athletes’s hard work deserves our recognition and our recognition is a motivation for the athletes to press on with their pursuit of excellence.
Although Harris Tsolis, Head Sailing Coach of the sailing team, has been in the position for less than a month, in fact he has been training and racing with the sailing team in Europe this summer. Harris said the results of the team and their fighting spirit have left him feeling optimistic about the future of Hong Kong sailing in general. Sailors have high talent and potential, and every one is very motivated. He is looking forward to next month’s races.
Stephanie Norton, who represented Hong Kong in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Nicholas Bezy, who will be participating in the Asian Games for the second time, went on the water to demonstrate sailing. This Asia Games will be the next big international games for Stephanie after the Olympic Games. She said she had been away from Hong Kong and focused on training since the end of March, in the lead up to the Asian Games – the most important event of the year. This is Nicholas’ second Asia Games, he said he has been focusing a lot on the boat speed earlier this year.
Sandy Choi, one of the 49er FX members left the windsurfing team three years ago and joined the sailing team. This is her first time participating in the Asian Games. She pointed out that she has started to strengthen her training since mid-April, and she went to Italy to train with some top sailors, she also went training with her partner Maddy in Belgium, which was with relatively high currents. Sandy hopes to apply what she has learned in European training to this Asian Games.
Alex Leung, the first and only kiteboarder in the Sailing Team, said he aimed to improve his boat speed and upwind angle in recent months. He is happy with his improvement. He aims to get a bronze medal.
The Hong Kong Sailing Team still has one more final training block that will take place at the official regatta venue in early September. This will give our sailors a chance to acclimatize with the conditions there; hopefully the team can return home with some medals.
The following athletes will represent Hong Kong in the sailing event at the Asian Games:
Single handed Dinghy (ILCA7): Nicholas Bezy
Single handed Dinghy (ILCA6): Stephanie Norton
Kiteboarding (IKA Formula Kite): Alex Leung
Single handed Boys (ILCA 4): Daniel Kin Chung Chan
Single handed Girls (ILCA 4): Ziyan Huang
Skiff (49er): Akira Sakai and Russell Aylsworth
Skiff (49erFX): Sandy Choi and Maddalena Di Salvo