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Hong Kong holds a 2-2 Draw against Turkmenistan in Intense World Cup Qualifier

  • By: Ben Rong LiEdited by: Aruzhan ZEINULLA、Ming Min AW YONG
  • 2023-11-28

Hong Kong faced Turkmenistan last Tuesday in a crucial match for the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers in the second round at Hong Kong Stadium. Hong Kong tied 2-2 despite trailing twice. Ranked just nine places lower than their opponents, Hong Kong fielded a strong lineup, including the Kitchee combination of Chan Shinichi and Azevedo Pedreira Fernando Augusto on the left flank.  Everton Camargo, making a return, played in the centre alongside striker Udebuluzor Michael Chibuikem, while An Wing-Kwan started on the bench. Hong Kong captain Yip Hung-fai guarded the goal, with Leung Nok Hang and Lo Kwan Yee in central defence. The midfield featured Wong Wai, Chan Siu-Kwan, and Chan Chun-lok for the attack.  6,601 supporters chanted inspiring slogans from the stands. Among them were approximately 20 Turkmenistan fans.  Early in the game, Hong Kong conceded a goal in the 4th minute when Turkmenistan capitalised on a defensive vulnerability. Ruslan Kamilyevich Mingazov, Turkmenistan midfield chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, putting Turkmenistan in the lead. However, Hong Kong equalised in the eighth minute through Wong Wai's header from Yu Chun Nam's cross. The team then gained momentum and launched a fierce attack.  In the 21st minute, Wong Wai's free-kick found Chen Zhaojun, who scored with a header, but the referee decided it was offside despite protests from the home crowd. Turkmenistan also had an offside goal in the first half. In the 36th minute, Mamedov outjumped Yu Chun-nam to head the ball into the net, giving Turkmenistan a 2-1 lead.  Hong Kong had opportunities to level the score, with Everton's shot was blocked and Chan Chun Lok hitting the crossbar from a corner kick.  Coach Anderson brought on An Wing-kwan to strengthen the attack, and in the 65th minute, Wong Wai's free-kick found An Wing-kwan, whose header was …


Policy Address 2023: Hong Kong to encourage elite athlete development, promote sporting events to public

  • By: Yau To LUMEdited by: Kin Hou POON、Tsz Yin HO
  • 2023-10-25

In his 2023 Policy Address, Chief Executive John Lee aims to continue to foster sports growth in Hong Kong by supporting elite sports, improving professionalism, and promoting sports in the community to develop the city as a centre for key international sporting events, as well as expanding the sports sector. To achieve the vision, Lee said that a new Hong Kong Sport Institute building will be completed in mid-2024, providing advanced training facilities for elite athletes. “In the recent Asian Games in Hangzhou, Hong Kong won a record high of 53 medals, and the government will continue to promote sports development in Hong Kong,” Lee said. Lee also stated that he would like to popularise sporting events among the general public in order to improve the city's overall sports growth. Cheng Tsz-lam, 26, a member of Hong Kong’s women’s kabaddi team, said the facilities could help the elite athletes who played minor sports.  “Minor sports players who cannot find a place with the correct size requirement for training can use the new training facilities that will be built in the coming years as a place for daily training," Cheng said.  Lee also said the Culture, Sports, and Tourism Bureau will continue implementing the 10-year development blueprint for sports and recreation facilities, which provide sports and recreation facilities such as sports centres, grounds, and parks, including a swimming pool suitable for hosting international competitions and an arena with fencing training and competition facilities.  The government will also cooperate with the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China in 2024 to offer coaches more professional training and internship opportunities. Cyclist Ceci Lee Sze-wing, 22, who won a silver medal in this year’s Asian Games, thinks there is an alternative way to enhance professionalism.  “If they can invite foreign teams or …


Canada's Leylah Fernandez wins the Hong Kong Tennis Open Title 2023

  • By: Jemima BadajosEdited by: Rajnandini PANDEY
  • 2023-10-21

The 6th Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open concluded on Sunday with 21-year-old Leylah Fernandez from Canada taking her first title of the 2023 season at the women’s singles, beating Czech Republic's Katerina Siniakova.


Hong Kong FIA World RX Finale to be held next month

  • By: Yau To LUMEdited by: Ka Ki FUNG
  • 2023-10-18

Hong Kong will be hosting the FIA World Rallycross Championship Finale for the first time at the Central Harbourfront Event Space from 10-12 November . It is the city’s first motorsport race since the Formula-E race was held in 2019 and the first-ever World Rallycross city race. The season finale is certified by the Hong Kong SAR government as a Major Sports Event, also known as the “M” Mark Event. It is also the first international all-electric motorsport competition in the Asia-Pacific region. Leslie Wong, CEO of World RX Hong Kong Management Limited, expressed his gratitude for the contribution from the government. “The support from the government is really strong in which they are responding with whatever they can to help organize this championship,” Wong said in a press conference. Wong added that the season finale would lead to the development of a track in Hong Kong to nurture local competitive drivers. "I would say hopefully the path or the future development of motorsports is that we will have our own permanent racecourse in Hong Kong, but it will be a long way, and I hope this is the first step towards it," he said. The circuit in Hong Kong would be around 1.2 km long, composed of 37% alternating gravel and 63% asphalt sections, the latter of which will be all closed public roads. Klara Andersson started her competitive career in 2021 and is the only woman among ten drivers competing in the finale next month. “This will be the first city centre race, I think it's really inspiring and also the first time for an all-electric motorsport competition to be held in Asia Pacific. It's a lot of excitement and I really think that we will put on a good show,” she said. The young driver also recommends …

Hong Kong takes silver in Open Badminton 2023

  • 2023-09-18
  • By: Ka Man WongEdited by: Chengqi MO
  • 2023-09-18

  The six-day badminton tournament, VICTOR Hong Kong Open 2023 concluded last Sunday. Hong Kong’s mixed doubles pair Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet came in second.  Held from September 12 to 17 at the Hong Kong Coliseum, Hung Hom, this tournament is one of the BWF World Tour events with a grand prize of over HK$ 3.2 million Hong Kong Dollars (US$ 420,000).  The home favourites defeated Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Lai from Malaysia in the semi-final on September 16, attracting an audience of more than 6,500 to the Hong Kong Coliseum for their match. Despite strong home support, Hong Kong lost in the final to the mainland’s Guo Xinwa and Wei Yaxin, who took gold.  But Tang and Tse's silver medal is the best result for a home doubles in the tournament's 41-year history. They were still visibly disappointed with the outcome. “Of course, it was a bit disappointing,” said Tse, 31. “We are not only talking about the result here, but also the way we played. Our performance was below par.” “We did not return the serve very well and as a result, we allowed the opponents to take the initiative easily,” she added. Tse also said that she was delighted to stand on the podium before her retirement from being an athlete.  “I am determined to perform better in the coming Asian Games (starting on 23 September 2023),” said Tse. Indonesia won the most prizes, taking gold in both men’s singles and women’s doubles. Apriyan Rahayu and Siyi Fadia Sliva Ramadhanti from Indonesia, won the women's doubles title, defeating Tan Pearly and Thinaah Muralithara from Malaysia in the final. Akane YAMAGUCHI from Japan won the women’s singles, and ranked number two in the world, according to the Badminton World Federation. She beat Zhang Yi Man from China in …


Hong Kong Sevens: tournament breaks gender barrier as women play alongside men for the first time

  • By: Dhuha AL-ZAIDIEdited by: Ming Min AW YONG
  • 2023-04-02

It’s the much-anticipated time for sports again in Hong Kong. Tickets have been purchased months in advance, as rugby fans await the iconic Hong Kong Sevens. In the So Kon Po stadium last weekend, live bands cheer on the crowd, who are spotted in eccentric costumes – giraffe onesies, pirates, Snow White and her seven dwarfs – chanting to Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer with beer pints in their hands. This year, for the first time in the World Rugby Sevens Series’ 23-year-history, the male and female teams will compete side-by-side over three days, from March 31 to April 2.  As the Hong Kong women’s rugby players eagerly prepare for such transformation that will shape the trajectory of the team, this points to an optimistic change in rugby, as more and more women are entering the field and adapting the dynamic of the sport. According to World Rugby, there are currently 2.7 million global female rugby players out of a total of 9.6 million, with a 28% increase in registered female players since 2017. This is largely attributed to new measures and campaigns aimed at increasing participation and engagement in women’s games.  The Try and Stop Us campaign launched by World Rugby in 2019, and the World Rugby Women’s Plan 2021-25, hope to increase women’s contribution to the sport both on and off the field through participation, performance and investment. Currently, more than 40% of rugby’s 400 million fanbase are female World Rugby reported.  In Hong Kong, women first began playing professionally for the Hong Kong Football Club, a private members' sports organisation, 110 years after it was founded in 1886, playing against Japan in their first international tournament in 1998. Now, the club holds two 15-a-side female teams - Fire and Ice and seven men’s team.  As the …


HK Rugby Sevens return with women’s game added for the first time

  • By: Yau To LUM、Tsz Yau CHANEdited by: Ka Ki FUNG
  • 2023-03-31

Hong Kong Sevens game kicked off today at the Hong Kong Stadium. The three-day tournament starts today and will continue through the weekend. 16 men and 12 women teams will be joining the game. Hong Kong women's team played against New Zealand this afternoon, losing out by 50 points. They will be playing against Great Britain’s team tomorrow at 10 am. The local men’s team will be facing Great Britain and Uruguay tomorrow. Despite the rainy weather, local fans, students and tourists slowly lined up for security and ticket check at the front gate at 8 am. Some audience dressed up in costumes to root for their favourite team. Chan Hoi Yee, 16, a rugby fan who had watched the Hong Kong sevens for the sixth time, said, “This year’s game is definitely more energetic, entertaining and fun.”  She thinks that rugby is “the sport that everyone would love” and different from other sports. Kent Smith, 38, who came from Melbourne in Australia, was excited to watch the game for the first time despite the bad weather. “I have never been to Hong Kong. This is my first time here, I am excited to watch the game,” Smith said. He also said that the rainy weather does not really affect the atmosphere in the stadium. Mak Chiu Tsui, 57, a local rugby fan, said this is his 9th time watching the Rugby Sevens. “This time, I am looking forward to watching the women’s games. Since this is the first time the women’s team is playing in Hong Kong,” Mak said. Tickets for the Rugby Sevens games are still on sale, available at the Hong Kong sevens website. The price of a 3-day pass is $1950 for adults and $950 for children.


Hong Kong pubs see slow start as football fans head to pubs to watch World Cup

Football lovers across Hong Kong returned to bars and restaurants to watch the game as the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off last Sunday, but some pubs didn’t see much boost in business, despite authorities relaxing opening hours earlier this month. Many venues screening the matches expected crowds, particularly for the more popular matches, including Brazil, Germany, France and England. However, Lan Kwai Fong, the city’s entertainment district, was almost quiet when the match between England and Iran was aired on Monday at 9 pm, with only a handful of patrons watching the games. Chu Ka-chun, 30, manager of The Derby Pub & Restaurants in Wan Chai, said the rapid test requirement has reduced customers' willingness to watch the game at bars and called the potential boost to business from the event “questionable”. However, Eddie Chan Ka-kin, 44, founder of Lockeroom Dining in Mong Kok, is optimistic and expects the tournament to bring up to 50% growth to his business. “Around 60% to 70% of the tables have been reserved for matches between the “traditional powerhouses,” Chan said. “It’s dull to watch the football match alone at home. Watching football matches in pubs has a completely different atmosphere,” said Jimmy Wong, a 60-year-old football enthusiast and a first-time visitor to Lan Kwai Fong to watch the tournament. Daniel Wosner, another football lover who came to Lan Kwai Fong for the tournament, said he would continue to enjoy the remaining matches there because of the excitement brought by the extended bar opening hours. This year’s FIFA World Cup tournament will run for 28 days until Dec. 18.

Culture & Leisure

Virtus Oceania Asia Games 2022: intellectually-impaired athletes in Oceania and Asia compete in their first world-class sports event

The Virtus Oceania Asia Games 2022, an international multi-sport competition held for athletes with intellectual impairments, kicked off in Brisbane last Saturday. This is the first Virtus Regional Games held for the Oceania Asia region. During the one-week Games, hundreds of athletes from Asia and Oceania come to Australia and compete in athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, judo, rowing, sailing, swimming, table tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and Triathlon, according to the website of the organiser, Sport Inclusion Australia. SIA advocates a fair and equal environment for the able-bodied and athletes with intellectual disabilities. “Athletes with intellectual impairment have to overcome discrimination and prejudice to train and perform as high-performance elite athletes. But they have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else,” the OA Games 2022 website’s statement said. It is the first Para Sailing International Championship in which people with intellectual impairment can compete. Currently, only three out of 28 Paralympic sports offer classification for athletes with such disabilities at the Paralympics. “All these years, I have been helping all people with disabilities, no matter if it is physical, intellectual or any other form, to engage in sailing. So I am happy that people with intellectual disability can finally shine on the world stage,” said Shona Campbell, 47, an experienced volunteer in helping disabled people to participate in sailing. Philip Evans, 67, came from New Zealand to Brisbane to support his grandson who is diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. He said sailing has benefited his grandson because there would be fewer distractions from other people. “Sailing is good for him. I’d really like to see more world-class events like this be held for people with intellectual impairment,” said Evans.


Hong Kong Sevens 2022: city’s popular rugby event returns after three and a half years

The Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens kicked off on Friday afternoon at Hong Kong Stadium, the city’s first major sporting event since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic. With a history of almost half a century, this rugby sevens event has been postponed or cancelled five times since it was last held in 2019 due to the epidemic. After the city lifts compulsory quarantine requirements for overseas passengers in September, the world-class rugby returns. The event will run for three days and feature 45 matches with 16 teams in the group stage, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Fiji, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, South Africa, Spain, the United States, Uruguay and Hong Kong. The stadium capacity has been limited to 85% due to epidemic prevention, and approximately 34,000 spectators are expected to attend the game each day. One-day tickets for the first day’s matches have been sold out by Thursday night on Klook, one of the authorised sellers of this three-day sporting event. “As a local rugby fan, I am proud that the play can be hosted again in Hong Kong,” said Lai Man-kit, a local audience member. Franklin Paul, 39, from India, said watching live games can refresh him. “I feel a sense of freedom now that watching the Hong Kong Sevens is a means for me to relieve pressure,” he said. Fans are required to scan the QR code using the LeaveHomeSafe app to show the vaccine pass and provide proof of a negative Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT) result before entering the stadium. Groups of people are limited to 12. The government permitted food and drink in the seated areas of the outdoor spectator stands, but audiences must wear masks when not eating or drinking. “It would enliven the atmosphere when we are allowed to …