Although Sam Cheng of Macau, China, failed to reach the final in the women’s 500m individual kayak at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, her performance signified her family’s return to the big event since 1994.

Twenty-nine years earlier, Sam Hiu Hing, Cheng’s father, marked the Macau canoeists’ debut at the Asian Games in Hiroshima. Sam Cheng finished last in both her heat and semi-final this time, but the 19-year-old expressed satisfaction with her performance at the Fuyang Water Sports Center in the capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province.

“In today’s race, I was against the wind, but I achieved a result similar to what I normally did in training without wind,” said the teenager, who is currently enrolled at Shanghai University of International Studies. “I did my best,” she added.

At 1.55 meters tall, she is almost the shortest among the event participants. Despite this, she has some unique strategies. “I try to dip the paddle deeper into the water and paddle as often as possible,” Cheng explained.

Busy with her studies during the week, she used the weekends to train at a lake in Shanghai. In his free time, Sam Cheng devotes himself to physical training. “I want to have more muscles and I’m hoping to improve my performance,” said the young athlete.


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