The Olympics kicked off just five days ago, and it’s already shaping up to be a historic one for Hong Kong. Fencing champ Edgar Cheung Ka-long clinched the city’s first gold medal in 25 years—and the second ever in history—in a fencing event, and earlier Wednesday, swimmer Siobhan Haughey narrowly won silver in the women’s 200m freestyle.
Hong Kong’s Olympic delegation of 46 athletes cover 14 sports from badminton to karate to table tennis. Here are 9 serious medal contenders we’re watching out for:
Angus Ng Ka-long (Badminton)
Hong Kong’s top-ranked badminton player and two-time Olympian Angus Ng Ka-long headed off to a strong start, winning two matches against Mexico in the opening game Saturday. The 27-year-old will compete in the men’s singles event against Guatemala Wednesday evening.
Sarah Lee Wai-sze (Cycling track)
Three-time Olympian Sarah Lee Wai-sze is one of Hong Kong’s most well-known athletes, notably for taking home a bronze medal at a cycling event in the 2012 London Games. Her achievement marked the city’s first Olympic medal in cycling and the city’s third Olympic medal overall. Now, all eyes are on the 34-year-old cyclist, who will be competing in the women’s sprint and women’s keirin in less than two weeks’ time.
Grace Lau Mo-sheung (Karate)
Karate is among the new sports getting their Olympics debut this year, and Grace Lau Mo-sheung has high hopes. The 29-year-old, who clinched a bronze medal at the Asian Games in 2018, is Hong Kong’s sole karate representative at the Olympics. She’ll be showcasing her viperlike moves in the women’s kata event Aug 5.
Siobhan Bernadette Haughey (Swimming)
Hongkongers crowded at shopping malls Wednesday morning to cheer on two-time Olympian swimmer Siobhan Bernadette Haughey as she competed in the 200-meter freestyle finals, and she did not disappoint: the 23-year-old won silver, making her the first Hong Kong swimmer to win an Olympic medal. Haughey, who was training at the University of Michigan in the US but returned home due to COVID-19, is also racing the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle.
Ian Ho Yentou (Swimming)
Competitive swimmer Ian Ho Yentou, who halted his studies to focus on his career as an athlete, broke his own Hong Kong record in the 50-meter freestyle during the Olympic qualifiers. He didn’t make the cut for the semi-finals in the 100-meter sprint event held Tuesday, but Hong Kong will be cheering him on at the 50-meter freestyle event later this week.
William Yan Thorley (Marathon swimming)
Not only is 18-year-old William Yan Thorley the city’s youngest representative at the Tokyo Games, the open water swimmer is also Hong Kong’s first athlete to qualify for the men’s 10-kilometer marathon. Thorley will be racing for a medal at Odaiba Marine Park under Tokyo’s Rainbow Bridge.
Doo Hoi-kem (Table tennis)
Table tennis star Doo Hoi-kem was eliminated in the mixed doubles event, but she’s not giving up without a fight. Doo moved into the women’s singles quarterfinals after defeating Netherland’s Britt Eerland 4-1, and will go against China’s Chen Meng Wednesday.
Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching (Golf)
Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching has been hooked on golfing since she was six. She’s come a long way—in 2018, she became the first Hong Kong golfer to qualify for the prestigious Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour. Now, the tenacious 27-year-old has set her eyes on winning an Olympic medal in the four-day-long women’s individual stroke play event.
Thomas Heffernan Ho (Equestrian)
Hong Kong’s very first equestrian Olympic representative Thomas Heffernan Ho will be racing to the finish line with his horse, Tayberry. The UK-based rider counts winning a bronze medal in a team event at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, and snatching a silver medal at the 2019 Asian Championship, among his accomplishments.