Hong Kong athletes have missed out on the medals on the penultimate day of the Asian Games, with two bronze-medal play-offs going against the SAR's teams on Saturday.
That included the men's footballers, who ended their historic run in Hangzhou in fourth place – still their best ever finish in the continental competition.
Hong Kong had captured the imagination of supporters with an unprecedented run to the final four. Unfortunately the play-off proved a game too far for the team.
Alisher Odilov opened the scoring in the first half for Uzbekistan with a screamer minutes from halftime. Goalkeeper Tse Ka-wing could only watch the ball fly past him into the net.
In the second, Khusain Norchaev bagged a brace in less than ten minutes, before Alibek Davronov flicked the ball in on the 75th minute for the final score.
A tearful Tse apologised to fans after the game for not being able to bring home a medal. But he told HOY TV that his teammates and himself had given everything they had.
"We were one step away from the medal. I don't want to talk about moral victories because I don't like them. So, sorry. We were one step away, but we weren't able to get it in the end. I want to apologise but we gave it our all in these six games."
Scores of fans watched the game across Hong Kong, with many watching a giant screen at the Happy Valley racecourse.
Some of them told RTHK that they were proud of the SAR's performance, as the players had battled hard until the end despite the deficit.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong karateka Ho Kai-yan finished fourth in women's kumite for the 68 kilogram-plus category. She lost the bronze medal bout against Japan's Yuzuki Sawae 7-0.
Xiangqi, or Chinese chess player Himson Wong, meanwhile, finished fifth in the men's individual event after seven rounds of competition. In the women's individual event, Lam Ka-yan was eighth.
And marathon swimmer Keith Sin finished eighth out of 16 swimmers in the men's 10-kilometre race, with a time of two hours and some 53 seconds. William Thorley's time of two hours, two minutes and 22 seconds was good for 11th place.
After two weeks of competition, China reached 200 gold medals at the top of the table, followed by Japan and South Korea.
Hong Kong stay in 12th place with eight golds, 16 silvers, and 29 bronzes – for a total of 53 medals.
Bronze medals slip through HK athletes' fingers
2023-10-07 HKT 22:10
The Hong Kong men's footballers thanked fans for their support in both Hangzhou and Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee
Karateka Ho Kai-yan finished fourth after losing the bronze medal match, 7-0. Photo courtesy of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee
Keith Sin was eighth among marathon swimmers. Photo courtesy of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee
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