With local athletes bringing home six medals, including gold, it was the city’s finest Olympic Games performance of all time.
After a year-long delay for reasons we’ve all had enough of hearing about, the 2020 Summer Olympics finally took place in Tokyo, bringing the greatest living athletes together to compete on the world stage. In the end, it was the usual suspects that came away with the most hardware; the United States, China and host country Japan took the top three spots for both gold and overall medals, respectively. However, it was Hong Kong that put on a performance that will be remembered by its people for years to come.
With a final count of one gold, two silver and three bronze medals — an all-time Olympics high for the city — Hong Kong put on a historic show across a variety of athletic competitions that had us beaming with pride for our hometown heroes. Here are each of this year’s winners.
Edgar Cheung Ka-long, Fencing (Gold)
In the biggest match of his career, the 24-year-old left-handed foil fencer defeated defending Olympic champion Daniele Garozzo of Italy by a score of 15-11 in the Men’s Individual Foil event. It was Hong Kong’s first-ever Olympic gold for fencing, and its second in history (windsurfer Lee Lai-shan won the city’s first gold, and first medal, in 1996). Per HKFP, Cheung’s historic victory has created what has been dubbed the ‘Ka-Long Effect’, with a surge of parents rushing to sign their kids up for fencing lessons. Here’s to the next generation of Olympic champions.
Siobhán Haughey, Swimming (Silver, Silver)
Bringing home back-to-back silver medals in the Women’s 100m Freestyle and Women’s 200m Freestyle, respectively, the Hong Kong-born Haughey clinched 2020 as the city’s most successful Olympic campaign to date. The daughter of an Irish father and a Hongkongese mother, she also made history as the first Hong Kong athlete ever to win two medals in any sport.
Doo Hoi-kem, Lee Ho-ching and Minnie Soo, Table Tennis (Bronze)
After an early loss to Germany, Hong Kong’s women’s table tennis team of Doo Hoi-kem, Lee Ho-ching and Minnie Soo rallied back to claim victory and a bronze medal for the city. It was the city’s second-ever Olympics medal in table tennis, and a first for three-time Olympian Lee Ho-ching, who finally got to bring home a piece of hardware. It also proved to be a fitting second act for team coach Li Ching, who won the city’s first — a silver — with Ko Lai-chak back in Athens in 2004.
Grace Lau Mo-sheung, Karate (Bronze)
2020 may be both the first and last time we see karate in an Olympic competition — it’s not on the docket for the 2024 games in Paris — but Grace Lau ensured Hong Kong didn’t leave this historic moment empty-handed. The 29-year-old took home the first-ever Olympic bronze medal in the Women’s Solo Kata, scoring a 26.94 in total, with 18.90 in technical performance and 8.04 in athletic performance.
Sarah Lee Wai-sze, Cycling (Bronze)
Hong Kong’s Sarah Lee Wai-sze battled back from a disappointing Women’s Keirin on the final Thursday of this year’s games with an inspiring performance in the Women’s Sprint, taking home bronze and winning Hong Kong a record sixth Olympic medal. The 34-year-old also joins Haughey as the only Hong Kong athletes with two medals to their name.