Ling Tin-Yu and Natasha Tang Ting-Yung win men’s, women’s individual events in first Harbour Race since 1978
The New World Harbour Race 2011, organized by the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association ("HKASA") and title-sponsored by New World Group, captivated Hong Kong this morning as a thousand swimmers crossed Victoria Harbour("NWD" or "the Group", Hong Kong stock code: 17) for the first time in over 30 years - bringing back fond memories for some and creating indelible impressions for many others who watched for the first time in person and on TV. Of 978 swimmers who swam, over 973 completed the 1.8km race, a resounding success for the return of one of the city's most historic and iconic events.
Ling Tin-Yu and Tang Wing-Yung, Natasha were the winners of the men's and women's Elite Swimmers Cup divisions with respective times of 20 minutes 34 seconds and 23 minutes 7 seconds. Lee Yeung, Darwin, Yim Pak-Yu and Yuen Yat-Ho, Marcus, took home the Swimmers Cup male's team honours with times of 21 minutes 7 seconds. Wong Suet-Yan, Poon Wan-Yi, Janice and Cheung Wing-Chi took home the Swimmers Cup female's team honours with times of 24 minutes 36 seconds. This year the organisers also created an event for junior up-and-comers, the K11 Harbour Race Young Swimmers Cup. The boys' division was won by Lau Chak-Lam, Nicholas, with a time of 20 minutes 49 seconds, while Fiona Chan won the girls' division for reaching the finish in 24 minutes 10 seconds.
"We couldn't be happier about the success of this event, or how well it was received," said Mr Arthur Kwan, Vice President of theHKASA. "Swimming in Hong Kong has come a long way since the HKASA and the Hong Kong Sports Federation & Olympic Committee were founded 60 years ago, and the fantastic performances we witnessed today demonstrate how important the sport has become to participants and fans. We believe today's event marks the start of a new era for the New World Harbour Race, swimming, and the ability of our sportsmen to compete at the highest level."
"This event has been such an important part of Hong Kong's identity over the years," said Dr Henry Cheng, Managing Director of NWD, the title sponsor of the Race. "The New World Harbour Race represents Hong Kong's relationship with its famous harbour, and the ability of its people to conquer challenges. We will continue to sponsor the Race which will surely continue to attract more swimmers and grow in scale and popularity."
The New World Harbour Race 2011 attracted swimmers of all types from across Hong Kong. The oldest qualified swimmer was 68 years old while the youngest was 12. There were 548, 167, 216 (72 teams) and 69 (23 teams) final entrants for the Men's Individual, Women's Individual, Men's Team and Women's Team categories respectively. Based on the success of today's event, the organisers said they intend to open the competition wider over the coming years to include participants from overseas.
The course for the New World Harbour Race 2011 started at Sam Ka Tsuen Public Landing in Lei Yue Mun and finished across Victoria Harbour at Quarry Bay Park. Mr Yu Zaiqing, Vice President of the International Olympic Committee and Chinese Olympic Committee, Ms Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs, HKSAR Government, Dr Henry Cheng, Managing Director of NWD, and Mr Ronnie Wong, the Honourable Secretary of the HKASAfired the gun to commence the men's race at 9am, with the women's individual, men's team and women's team events starting at 15-minute intervals thereafter.
The first few swimmers who reached the Race's Finish Point at Quarry Bay were greeted and congratulated for marking an important historical momentby Mr Arthur Kwan, Vice President of the HKASA, and Mr Adrian Cheng, Executive Director of NWD. All participants finished the Race within 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The New World Harbour Race 2011 is a revival of the fondly remembered Cross Harbour Race, which was first launched in 1906. It grew into an iconic local sporting event and was held annually until 1978. The Race has been revived in part to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the HKASA and the Hong Kong Sports Federation & Olympic Committee.
The results of the New World Harbour Race 2011 are available on the HKASA website (www.hkasa.org.hk).