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National Games: Lau Chi-ming inspired by sister Grace Lau’s Olympic success in search of karate medal after disappointing day

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 17/9/2021 Chan Kin-wa kinwa.chan@scmp.com
a person with collar shirt: Grace Lau’s success in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics can inspire her elder brother Lau Chi-ming at the National Games. Photo: Reuters Grace Lau’s success in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics can inspire her elder brother Lau Chi-ming at the National Games. Photo: Reuters

Karate exponent Lau Chi-ming is keen to imitate the success of his younger sister at the Olympics as Hong Kong pins its hopes on the sport after a disappointing set of results at the National Games on Friday.

Both Lau and Jamie Lee Ka-wai will kick off their campaigns at the Xian Engineering University on Saturday, with Lau in the men's kata while Lee competes the men's 75kg kumite.

Grace Lau Mo-sheung, who grabbed a bronze medal in the women's kata for Hong Kong at the Tokyo Games this summer, first learned the sport from her older brother.

graphical user interface: Veteran Karate athlete Jimmy Lee Ka-wai is older but wiser in his preparation for the 2020 Olympic qualification tournament in Paris. Photo: Chan Kin-wa © Provided by South China Morning Post Veteran Karate athlete Jimmy Lee Ka-wai is older but wiser in his preparation for the 2020 Olympic qualification tournament in Paris. Photo: Chan Kin-wa

"My sister has scarified a lot of time and effort, including a closed training camp in the United States before reaching her Olympic success," said Lau before his departure to Shenzhen for a 21-day quarantine ahead of the Games. "Her result shows Hong Kong athletes can do well in kata and this will also be my target in the National Games."

Hong Kong won three karate medals at the last National Games in Tianjin and they all came in kata, including Grace Lau's bronze. Grace Lau had also entered this year's National Games but pulled out of the event due to injury.

Also featuring on Saturday is Jamie Lee, a two-time kumite medallist at the Asian Games, who narrowly missed out on a spot at the Tokyo Olympics after finishing in joint-seventh place in the final qualification tournament in France in June.

"My form is still there after the Olympic qualification and with all my experience on the international stage, I have set my sights on winning a medal in Xian," Lee said before his departure.

Hong Kong athletes, meanwhile, endured a difficult day as the Games progressed on Friday.

In Tianjin, both the men's and women's sabre fencing teams suffered early exits as they were eliminated in the first bout. After not requiring to go through qualification to reach the Games, Hong Kong's men's team had to take out Henan for a place in the quarter-finals, but were beaten 45-39. The women's team suffered the same fate going down 45-29 to Shandong in the round of 16.

In sport climbing, Wong Cheuk-nam and Sohji Chan Cheung-chi finished in 17th and 19th place respectively in the men's speed qualifiers and failed to reach the knockout stage of 16 climbers. Chan will go again in the two-event combined on Saturday, along with Au Chi-fung, the flag bearer for Hong Kong at the opening ceremony on Wednesday.

Hong Kong also went down in beach volleyball as Kong Cheuk-yee and To Wing-tung lost their opening group E match 21-15, 21-10 to their Shandong opponents. The group also features Ningxia, Hainan and Chongqing.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

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