It was the 16th of October. The beautiful sunshine had predicted what a lovely day it would be for the Professor Edmond Ko Cup (PEK Cup) Inter-hall Athletic Competition 2016/17.
It was easy to be affected by the excitement in the air. All seats in the spectator stand of Joint Sports Centre were occupied. The loud and passionate cheering from different halls rang across the venue. Everyone knew that the “competition” had already started by the first yell. Yet each hall still managed to respect its rivals without interruption. Young athletes warmed up by the tracks and those who had just finished a race sat around and rested. The endless sweat and heavy breath couldn’t hide the passion on their faces.
The major events in the afternoon were the Inter-hall 4 x 100m relay, 4 x 400m relay, and 1,500m track. As soon as the pistol went off, our hall representatives rushed along their lanes like a dozen of shooting arrows. Spectators fixed their eyes on the running figures and cheered for them ceaselessly. The cheering teams yelled out their hall slogans ever so loudly as the athletes approached the finishing line. “Look! That person is so fast! He was 70 metres behind and now he is catching up!” Their yells seemed to have infused energy into the athletes. All 4 x 100m relays finished within 2 minutes. It was not only a demonstration of amazing speed, but also about the unspoken coordination and strategies among teammates.
I interviewed some athletes off track to learn about their inspiring stories.
HUI Ho Yin, a Year 3 Business Analysis resident from Alumni Civility Hall, was taking a rest with a bandage on his left foot. “I got injured when I did Thai boxing the other day.” He told me.
“Are you still going to participate in the relay? “ I asked as he massaged his foot in pain.
“Of course, I’ve just finished the 4 x 100 and I will be participating in the 4 x 400 later. I was running faster than our back-up runners so I don’t want to get cold feet. My feet hurt after the 4 x 100 so I am taking a rest now. This may be the last time I participate in hall relays. I truly hope I can be known by more people!”
The women’s team of Hall 10 in the 4 x 100 relay was consisted of three foreign girls and one Chinese. They were Maria KRUTOVA (Year 3, Information Systems) and Anatasia STULBA (Year 3, New Media) from Russia, Jemmima Richard GONSALVES (Year 1, Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering) from India and CHEN Yiran (Year 2, Energy Science & Engineering) from China. They gave a high-five to one another after the relay as a pat on the back. “Of course we were nervous. We were representing our halls!” The girls said, “What motivated us were the support from our teammates and the cheering from our hallmates.”
LEUNG Man Wan (Year 3, Chinese) from Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall participated in the 1500m event. When asked whether she felt nervous, she said, “Sure I was because I was afraid to be the last one, but the result was not too bad. I ranked 4th in the group. I’ve just recovered from a fever so I worried about falling and fainting. I just kept telling myself to keep running because I didn’t want to walk to the finish line. That would be too pathetic. If I couldn’t be the fastest one, at least I could try my best.”
WONG Ka Man (Year 3, Information Systems), who is also from Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall, took part in the 4 x 100m. She wiped off her sweat with a towel, still displaying high energy after the relay, “ The result was a little bit disappointing because I didn’t play as well as I expected. It was normal to feel nervous when we stepped onto the track. I tried to relax and focus on running. I think the most important thing for athletes is the spirit: we never quit halfway even though we may end as the last person crossing the finish line.”
The women’s team from Chan Sui Kau Hall won the championship of the 4 x 100m relay. So how did the champion team feel? Natalie TSE (Year 1, Applied Social Science), FUNG Tsz Wing (Year 2, Chinese & History), YEUNG King Ting (Year 1, Applied Social Science) and CHUA Yan Ching (Year 2, Social work) all spoke at once, “Actually we were not so nervous as we were there for each other. As we ran, the only thing in our minds was the constant reminder of not tripping over! Our team members are excellent! Two of us are good at cross-country and rugby. One of us actually tripped accidentally during practice and injured her knees terribly.” “Well, it still hurt when I ran, but I didn’t want to slow down the team speed. That’s the kind of pain I can tolerate!” The four girls collapsed into laughter, enjoying the satisfaction and and happiness they gained from the win.
I must say our athletes are most respected for their pursue for excellence, spirit and efforts, as resonated by our Vice-president (Student Affairs), Prof. Horace IP, “I felt the power of youth and the spirit of struggle from these young athletes. They have taken more efforts than others to strike a balance between studying and training. They have to manage their time well and develop a team spirit. The mental well-being is highly important. I think any experiences as athletes are greatly beneficial to self-development.” And this is exactly the deep meaning underlying the Athlete Meet.
Finally, the following are the results of this year’s competition:
4 x 100m Men’s Relay: Champion – Jockey Club Harmony Hall (Hall 7), 1st Runner-up – Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall (Hall 9), 2nd Runner-up – Hall 11, 3rd Runner-up – Jockey Club Humanity Hall (Hall 1)
4 x 100m Women’s Relay: Champion – Chan Sui Kau Hall (Hall 5), 1st Runner-up – Jockey Club Harmony Hall (Hall 7), 2nd Runner-up – Jockey Club Humanity Hall (Hall 1), 3rd Runner-up – Jockey Club Academy Hall (Hall 4)
The Most Participation Awards (from all Athletic Meet events): Champion – Hall 11, 1st Runner-up – Lee Shau Kee Hall (Hall 6), 2nd Runner-up – Alumni Civility Hall (Hall 3)
Congratulations to all!
Writer: Betty WANG (Hall 10)
Translator: Joanna CHEN (Hall 10)
Photographers: Jason TSE, Derek KWAN (SRO), Hydie CHEUNG (SRO)
下午的主要項目是舍際4 x 100米、隊伍4 x 400米接力賽與1,500米等田徑賽。發令槍一響，仿佛觸動了某根弦，運動員們像利箭一般飛出去， 觀眾們緊緊盯著場上那幾抹小小的卻堅定的身影，心被他們牽引著，不停為他們讚歎：「你看，那個人好快，剛才落下70米轉眼就要趕上了！」在接近終點時，啦啦隊更是為運動員們搖旗吶喊，他們的加油聲真的為運動員注入了能量，兩分鐘左右的時間便完成一組的4 x 100米的比賽。接力賽不僅考驗速度，更考驗彼此的默契和戰略部署，如何交接，哪位運動員負責哪一棒等等。
「當然要啊，我剛跑完4 x 100，一會還有4 x 400要跑，因為在選拔的時候我的成績比後補選手要好，所以想堅持一下，不想臨陣退縮吧。跑完4 x 100腳痛的厲害，所以休息一下。這也許是我最後一次代表Hall參加比賽呢，我想讓大家認識我！」
舍堂十女子4 x 100米接力隊伍是三個外國女孩和一個本地女孩的組合，由來自俄羅斯的Maria KRUTOVA（資訊系統系三年級）及Anatasia STULBA（新媒體系三年級）、印度的Jemmima Richard GONSALVES（機械及生物醫學工程系一年級）和中國的陳怡然（能源科學及工程系二年級）組成。她們的感情很好，跑完下場之後擊掌合照，互相鼓勵：「會緊張的，畢竟代表的不是自己，而是整個舍堂，不過在場上我們不是一個人，還有隊友並肩作戰，拉拉隊也給了我們很大勇氣。訓練的時候都在晚上，今天太熱了，發揮不太好。」
同樣來自應湘堂的王嘉敏（資訊系統系三年級）參加的則是女子4 x 100米接力。她用毛巾擦著汗，剛剛結束比賽但是仍舊活力十足：「結果有些失望啦，發揮的沒有預期好。上場有點緊張的，所以跑步的時候放空自己，什麼也不去想，分神只會限制實力的。運動員最重要的就是一種精神吧，哪怕最後一名，也絕對不可以中途放棄。」
作為高彥鳴教授盃今年第一炮賽事，陳瑞球堂的女子4 x 100米隊伍勇奪冠軍。作為冠軍隊伍是怎樣的體驗呢？小妮子謝凱蕎（犯罪學系三年級）、馮子穎 （中文及歷史系二年級）、楊景婷（應用社會科學系一年級）和蔡仁靖（社會工作系二年級）七嘴八舌地說：「不是很緊張呀，因為隊友們都在，比賽時候想的只是不要跌倒！我們的隊員很優秀的，其中兩位分別擅長越野跑和橄欖球。因為其中其中一位隊員在訓練時不小心摔倒，膝蓋現在還是觸目驚心的傷口。」「嗯，其實跑的時候有些痛，可是不能連累隊友們呀，所以忍忍就好了。」四個女孩子笑成一團，她們樂觀陽光，也有得了冠軍的喜悅和滿足。