Hong Kong, China to row in four consecutive Olympics
19-year-old Law Hiu Fung in the men's single sculls and Lo Ting Wai/So Sao Wah in men's lightweight double made their coach, Chris Perry of England very impressed as they booked two berths for Hong Kong, China in the 2004 Olympic Continental Qualification Regatta for Asia here on Saturday.
"This will be our fourth time to row in the Olympics as we started rowing in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games in the women's single sculls and men's lightweight double sculls," said Perry0.
"In 1996, we participated in the men's single sculls and in Sydney we competed in the women's single and men's lightweight double sculls."
Perry was very happy with his young rowers as they were all only 19 years old and had a lot of potentials for the future.
"We are trying to train them of course for Athens but our long- term plan is to prepare our young athletes for the Beijing Olympic Games because this is the most important event in the coming years for Hong Kong. And our priority is to produce young athletes and have a long-term plan for Beijing in 2008," Perry revealed.
Having coached in Hong Kong for 18 years and married a Chinese, Perry enjoyed working in Asia and found it very challenging in developing rowing program.
Speaking of rowing development in Hong Kong, Perry thought it was very good.
"It's a small program but now it's grown, we have nearly 1000 people who row in Hong Kong although many of them only row for recreation," he said.
"We have 23 rowing clubs including eight universities. The development is very healthy, and it has become more and more popular in recent years."
Hong Kong rowing hasn't reached the top 12 in the Olympics, with its best performance of a six place in the women's lightweight single sculls in the 1998 world championships.
In last year's world under 23 championships, Law Hiu Fung won a bronze medal in the men's single sculls.