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Olympic Games: Doo Hoi Kem responding to the occasion

Sunday 30 May

Reacting to the ambience of the Olympic theatre, of there is one player who responds it is Doo Hoi Kem.

She lines up alongside Lee Ho Ching and Minnie Soo Wai Yam for Hong Kong in the women’s team event at the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, play commencing on Sunday 1st August.

Quite simply beat Doo Hoi Kem and you win the tournament; competing at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the only players against whom she experienced defeat have progressed to win the tournament.

In Nanjing, she emerged the women’s singles runner up. Safely through the group stage, she beat Israel’s Nicole Trosman (11-3, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8), Romania’s Adina Diaconu (6-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6) and Lily Zhang of the United States (11-1, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6) to reach the final, where China’s Liu Gaoyang, ended golden hopes (11-1, 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6).

Most impressive, later it was just the same in the mixed team competition; she remained unbeaten throughout. Lining up alongside Hung Ka Tak, the duo secured bronze. Most significantly, at the semi-final stage against Japan, Doo Hoi Kem beat Miyu Kato (11-3, 11-5, 11-3), before in the third place contest when opposing Thailand, overcoming Tamolwan Khethuen (11-4, 11-5, 11-6).

Fast forward to Rio de Janeiro, commencing proceedings in the third round of the women’s singles event, Doo Hoi Kem recovered from a two games to nil deficit against Hungary’s Georgina Pota (8-11, 9-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8), before losing to China’s Ding Ning (11-3, 11-5, 11-4, 11-4), a player so focused, following her silver medal in London, no human or superhuman was going stop her march to gold.

Later in the women’s team event, just as in Nanjing, Doo Hoi Kem remained unbeaten; her outstanding level of consistency proving a key factor.

Facing Chinese Taipei in the opening round, she beat both Huang Yi-Hua (11-9, 11-7, 11-7) and Chen Szu-Yu (11-8, 11-6, 11-8) in a 3-1 team win; at the quarter-final stage, this time in a 3-1 defeat against Germany, she was the only Hong Kong winner. She overcame Petrissa Solja (9-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-9, 14-12).

Medals in Nanjing, in the table tennis events at an Olympic Games the only other medal for Hong Kong is the men’s doubles silver secured by Ko Lai Chak and Li Ching in 2004 in Athens.

Arguably with two medals to her name, Doo Hoi Kem is Hong Kong’s leading Olympian; the only other who can match her is Siobhan Haughey, a young lady with an Irish father and Hong Kong mother. At the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, she won silver in both the women’s 100 metres freestyle and 200 metres swimming events.

In Tokyo, the mixed doubles in harness with Wong Chun Ting added to itinerary can Doo Hoi Kem add to her collection? History suggests it will take a champion to beat her!   

Editor: Ian Marshall

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