Last year’s winners of the men’s and women’s Elite Swimmers Cups (Open Category) Ling Tin Yu and Natasha Tang Wing Yung took home the trophies again at the New World Harbour Race 2012, title-sponsored by New World Group and organised by the Hong Kong Amateur Swimming Association (HKASA). The Race was held this morning with 1,679 swimmers competing in twelve championship categories, cheered on by fans along both sides of the harbour. All but eight of the swimmers completed the 1.5km race.
Mr Ronnie Wong, HKASA’s Honourable Secretary, said, “The New World Harbour Race has once again received overwhelming support from swimmers and members of the public. The 1,800-swimmer quota represented an 80% increase over last year’s Race, and the fact that it was oversubscribed proves that the sport of swimming has a great future in Hong Kong. The 5th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships was another big success today, and we think these two events are going to continue drawing more world-class elite swimmers to Hong Kong and famous Victoria Harbour.”
Dr Henry Cheng, Chairman of New World Development Company Limited, title sponsor of the New World Harbour Race 2012, said, “The New World Harbour Race is more popular than ever, and the 2012 event has been especially meaningful for us because this year marks the 40th anniversary of New World Development’s listing in Hong Kong. New World Group is committed to supporting the development of swimming in Hong Kong, and we are delighted to see the New World Harbour Race becoming a leading international sporting event, showcasing the spirit of Hong Kong and attracting more people to take part in this fantastic race in the future.”
Ling and Tang won their Elite Swimmers Cups (Open Category) with respective times of 16:57 and 17:21. Hui Chun Hin and Sunny Poon Ching Leung took home the Men/ Mixed Team Swimmers Cup with a time of 17:41. June Leung Mok Man and Esme Chang Wai grabbed the Women Team Swimmers Cup honours by clocking 19:49.
Winson Lee Ho Yat won the men’s Elite Swimmers Cup for the 17 to 34 age group with a time of 17:38, while Cheung Wing Chi was the women’s champion at 18:55. Michael Ho Chak Sing finished in 20:32 to win the men’s Elite Swimmers Cup for ages 35 to 49, and Slater Sheryl Lynn won the women’s event with a time of 21:20. Oscar Chan Wai Yip was the over 50s men’s Elite Swimmers Cup champion with a time of 21:36, and Butterfield Brigid Ann took home the women’s trophy at 27:37.
To encourage talented young swimmers, K11, a subsidiary of New World Group, once again sponsored the K11 Harbour Race Young Swimmers Cup for 12- to 16-year-olds. Lai Chun Wai won the boy’s event with a time of 18:01, and Hannah Li Hang Fung was the girl’s champion at 18:13.
The New World Harbour Race 2012 attracted swimmers from diverse backgrounds, with the oldest aged 78 and the youngest just 12.
The 5th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships were held concurrently with the New World Harbour Race 2012, forming a combined event that has been awarded “M” Mark Status by the Major Sports Events Committee, a designation intended to promote Hong Kong as a city for mega events. The 5th Asian Open Water Swimming Championships attracted 28 regional elite swimmers from eight countries for the 5km race. Kudinov Yuriy won the male division of the Championships in 57:14, while Cao Shi Yue took the Championships’ top female honour with a time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 18 seconds.
The New World Harbour Race 2012 started at Sam Ka Tsuen Public Pier in Lei Yue Mun and finished at Sai Wan Ho Harbour Park Public Pier. The gun-firing ceremony was officiated by The Hon C Y Leung, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Timothy Fok, GBS, JP, President of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, Ronnie Wong, HKASA Hon. Secretary, Dr Henry Cheng, Chairman of New World Development Company Limited, and Adrian Cheng, Executive Director and Joint General Manager of the New World Development Company Limited.
Swimmers who reached the finish point at the Sai Wan Ho Harbour Park Public Pier were greeted by Gary Chen, Executive Director and Joint General Manager of the New World Development Company Limited. All swimmers finished the race within 1 hour and 15 minutes.