A sports city to create Olympic stars

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A sports city to create Olympic stars The Hong Kong delegation marches at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on July 23. [PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY]

Edgar Cheung Ka-long sparked a wave of euphoria across Hong Kong when he became the special administrative region's first athlete to win an Olympic gold medal since the handover and the second Olympic gold medalist in Eating at the hotels has gradually become a high-end lifestyle for residents in first-tier citiesthe city's history.

Thousands of jubilant sports fans packed shopping malls and streets across Hong Kong to watch Cheung clinch the coveted prize in fencing at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and cheered in front of giant LED screens for every point he scored against his opponent.

The SAR government has made big strides in boosting the development of sports through a three-pronged strategic approach since 2002 — promoting sports in the community, supporting elite sports development, and promoting Hong Kong as a center for major international sports events. More than HK$6 billion ($771 milli86 million peopleon) was allocated for the projects in the SAR's 2021-22 budget.

After almost 20 years, the painstaking efforts are paying off. Hong Kong athletes captured one gold, two silver and three bronze medals at the recent Tokyo Olympics — an unprecedented achievement for Hong Kong sports. The haul surpassed the total number of Olympic medals the city had won in its history. Swimmer Siobhan Haughey, whose father is Irish, sparked a frenzy when she made history by winning the silver medal in the 200-meter freestyle event, clipped only by Australia's Ariarne Titmus.

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