Hong Kong stunned Iran in the men’s football quarter-finals at the Asian Games, winning 1-0 against one of the continent’s giants.
Earlier, Taichi Kho claimed gold as he and his Hong Kong teammates made Games history, winning the city’s first ever medals in golf.
There were also Hongkongers in action in cricket, squash, equestrian, athletics and roller skating.
Hong Kong’s footballers recorded a famous victory in the men’s quarter-finals when they downed mighty Iran 1-0. Poon Pui-hin scored the only goal.
Hong Kong coach Jorn Andersen had said beforehand that Iran – who had cruised to this stage without conceding a goal – were “on another level”.
But Andersen’s side were on a roll, already making their first appearance in the last eight since 1958 and prompting the coach to say he had “never seen a Hong Kong team play like that” since he took charge in December 2021.
Hong Kong march on to the semi-finals. You can read our full report here.
Hong Kong moved up to 40 medals thanks to their golf heroics on Sunday. That is only six medals behind their total for the last Games in Jakarta, which brought their best haul to date.
So far this fortnight the city’s delegation have collected six golds, 15 silvers and 19 bronzes.
Kho parred 18 and was then mobbed by his team, having carded a three-under-par round of 69 to finish on 27 under.
He held off the double threat from South Korea’s Sungjae Im and Jang Yu-bin to win by one shot on a dramatic day at West Lake International Golf Course.
Matthew Cheung Hung-hai, Jason Hak Shun-yat and Terrence Ng Shing-fung combined with Kho to win team bronze.
Hak saved his best for last, carding a five-under 67 to climb to 11 under for the week, helping put clear daylight between Hong Kong and Japan in the race for the medals.
Cheung had one of those days when putts did everything but drop, and finished his day one over on 12 under overall.
In the women’s event, Arianna Lau and Sophie Han had solid ends to their week, with matching even-par rounds of 72.
The pair both finished at two under for the tournament and in a tie for 14th with Chinese Taipei’s Huang Ting-hsuan in the individual standings
Their combined five under with Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching was good enough for seventh in the team event.
Hong Kong eased to a five-wicket victory over Japan to maintain their record of reaching at least the quarter-finals of every men’s Asian Games cricket tournament.
Head coach Simon Willis’ team, who thumped Cambodia by nine wickets in their opening fixture, bowled out Japan for 127 in 19 overs to put themselves in the box seat.
And Hong Kong were in control throughout their reply, despite a minor wobble at 95 for five, with the pair of Nasrulla Rana – who finished unbeaten on 35 – and Ehsan Khan adding an unbroken 39 to seal victory with seven balls to spare.
Hong Kong will play their last-eight match on Tuesday or Wednesday, and are set to face one of the heavyweight quartet of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and defending champions Sri Lanka, who all received byes into the last eight.
A day after the disappointment of losing the final of the women’s team event, the city’s squash players got off to a storming start in the mixed doubles.
Sixth seeds Lee Ka-yi and Wong Chi-him swatted aside Nepal pair Shrestha Swasthani and Bhlon Amir 2-0 in Pool C, while fifth seeds Tong Tsz-Wing and Tang Ming-hong eliminated Prasertratanakul Anantana and Arkarahirunya Arkaradet in straight games in Pool D.
In the team eventing, Hong Kong lay fourth after the cross-country.
“It was hard work,” Hong Kong rider Patrick Lam said. “My horse was a little bit tired after fence No 4, so I really had to carry him around the whole track. He tried his heart out.
“He was fighting for me, but we both had to fight today. The footing was very slow, and we found it really hard to get out of it. Unfortunately, it was one second too slow, but tomorrow is another day. We keep trying.”
Hong Kong were handed the toughest possible start to their baseball campaign, in the shape of a fixture against tournament specialists South Korea, and duly suffered a 10-0 loss.
The South Koreans had defeated Hong Kong 21-3 on the way to a third successive Asian Games gold medal in Indonesia five years ago.
But Hong Kong are on a quest to professionalise the outlook of their sport in the city – as we discovered when we met them – and hope to finish best of the minnows in Hangzhou.
They face Thailand on Monday and Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.
Hong Kong’s Vera Lui Lai-yiu was seventh in the 100 metres hurdles final in 13.35 seconds, 0.08 outside her personal best. Gold went to China’s Lin Yuwei in 12.74.
In the men’s 110 metres hurdles, both Lee Ka-yiu and Mui Ching-yeung came sixth in their heats, in 14.20 seconds and 14.04 respectively.
In the 200m, Li Tsz-to did not qualify in the women’s, finishing fifth in her heat in 24.89, and neither did Chan Chun-ho and Shak Kam-ching, who were sixth and seventh in their respective men’s heats.
Hong Kong roller-skater Vanessa Wong had not one but two false starts on Sunday in the women’s 1,000 metres sprint event.
The 30-year-old finished third in her heat in one minute, 37.065 seconds to reach the semi-final, where she again finished third in 1:39.151, but after a false start.
With a medal on the line in the final, Wong was flagged for another false start before finishing sixth in 1:41.075.
Chinese Taipei took gold and silver, Li Meng-chu winning in 1:38.518 ahead of Liu Yi-hsuan in 1:38.712. Lee Ye-rim of South Korea came third in 1:38.750.
Source : SCMP