Hong Kong has bagged a record-breaking total of 53 medals at the 19th Asian Games, which came to a close in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday evening.
Hong Kong’s 660 athletes were among 12,000 from all 45 members of the Olympic Council of Asia who competed at the sporting event over the past two weeks.
The Hong Kong delegation took eight gold medals at the games. Olympic fencing champion Edgar Cheung scooped a historic gold for the city on the first day of the quadrennial event, while star swimmer Siobhan Haughey took home two gold medals – one in the 200-metre freestyle and another in the 100-metre freestyle as she set a new Asian record.
The Hong Kong men’s rugby sevens team defended their top spot by defeating South Korea in the final, and golfer Taichi Kho took gold in the men’s individual event.
Cyclist Yang Qian-yu clinched gold in the women’s road race in a remarkable cap on her career ahead of her imminent retirement. Rowers Lam San-tung and Wong Wai-chun also won gold for the city in the men’s pair final.
Hong Kong ended up ranking 12th overall as the athletes rounded out the games with 16 silver medals and 29 bronze. The women’s epee team took silver after losing to South Korea 36-34, while the women’s cycling team scooped bronze by defeating South Korea.
Much to the dismay of local football diehards, Hong Kong was thrashed by Uzbekistan in the bronze medal match in a 4-0 defeat. But the team still went further than they have before by finishing fourth.
Chinese chess player Wong Hok-him, who took bronze alongside his teammates, was the flag bearer for Hong Kong on Sunday. Rugby veteran Salom Yiu took up the role of joint-flag bearer, closing out his final Asian Games.
Chief Executive John Lee congratulated the athletes in a statement, calling their achievements at the 19th edition of the games “very encouraging” and adding that it was their perseverance and hard work that earned them applause and support.
“The Hong Kong athletes had endured arduous training over the years and fought hard in the competitions, displaying professional sportsmanship. I believe that all Hong Kong people, like myself, are extremely proud of the grace shown by all our athletes in the Games,” he said.
Sports sector lawmaker Kenneth Fok, chef de mission of the Hong Kong, China delegation, said young up-and-comers had achieved outstanding results in a “testament to the wealth of talent in Hong Kong’s sports sector.”
“I look forward to an even more vibrant sports development in Hong Kong,” Fok said in a statement.
The Hong Kong government and the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China will hold a homecoming ceremony for athletes on Saturday.
On Sunday, China topped the table with a total of 383 medals – 201 of them gold – followed by Japan with 52 gold, 67 silver, and 69 bronze. Korea took third place overall with 190 medals, 42 of which were gold, 59 silver, and 89 bronze.
Aichi and Nagoya will be co-hosting the 20th edition in 2026, making them Japan’s third games, after it last hosted in Hiroshima in 1994, and Tokyo in 1958.
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