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Boccia gold favorite Kwok to grow stronger to win at Paralympics
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19:13, September 08, 2008

Boocia mixed individual BC2 girl Kwok Hoi-ying tried hard to grow stronger as she prepared for the Beijing Paralympics because most of her tough rivals are male.

"In a higher level of boccia, physical power is the key to success except the strategy and accuracy. Hoi-ying practiced a lot to improve her physical condition, especially the waist power in past two years," said Kwok's father, also her coach Kwok Hart-wing.

"After every match, she felt exhausted. In this aspect, male players have more advantage when competing with females."

The 22-year-old Kwok is a slim lady working in a factory in Hong Kong. She won the gold medal in the world championships in 2007 and is regarded as one of the gold hopefuls at the Paralympics boccia BC2 competition.

The world No. 1 Kwok made a solid show to breeze into the semifinals here on Monday with a victory against defending champion Cristina Goncalves of Portugal 8-1, thus becoming the only female player in top four of BC2.

In the final, she will probably meet another Portuguese Fernando Ferreira, bronze medalist in Athens, if she overcome strongman Angel Martin of Spain in the semifinal.

"Ferreira is my most competitive rival. His advantage over me is his physical power. He is stronger," Kwok once said.

Kwok was enrolled in the Hong Kong team when she was 13 years old, she trained three evenings every week and each training lasted two hours.

Her father, a volunteer in the team, supported his daughter and eventually became a team coach.

"My daughter trains hard. But I don't pay any more attention to her than any other athlete. I want to be equal. And I won't give her extra stress," he said.

"She loves surfing the internet and I always tell her 'don't take too much time on internet. Sleep early!'"

"My team is not bad. I don't think we are the strongest. But we're confident. And I won't say that I wish for a medal. I don't like to make my athletes feel stressful. Just take it easy," he added.


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