based on a story in the
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong's Squash players have an unusual incentive to find success in the Asian Games in Busan - free rice!

Hong Kong rice importer and wholesaler Golden Resources Development have offered rice and cash awards to the four-strong squash team.

"A player who wins a medal, regardless of its colour, will be given rice for free for two years and they can take as much as they need during this period," said Golden Resources executive director Laurent Lam. "I reckon the rice we give for each medal won will amount to 2.5 tons."

Plus, a gold medal will be worth HK$80,000 (around 6,500), a silver $50,000 and a bronze $30,000.

The most likely recipient is 23-year-old Rebecca Chiu, who reached the quarter-finals of the Credit Suisse Privilege Open held in Hong Kong earlier this month, and won a silver medal in the 1998 games.

Chui, seeded two in the women's singles, said: "The incentive scheme will give me an extra boost to do well in Pusan. Free rice is good as we eat rice everyday."

Lam emphasised the match-up between rice and sport. "Rice is natural food which contains zero fat", Lam said. His company decided to put something into sport after the squash team's good performances over the past year caught his attention. Chiu captured a women's singles silver medal in the Asian Championships in Kuala Lumpur in May. "The Hong Kong squash team are good. And squash has become popular among youngsters in Asia. I hope Rebecca can win gold or silver," Lam said.

Rebecca's a dab hand with chopsticks ...Chiu is determined to lay to rest the jinx that has seen her lose to arch-rival Nicol David of Malaysia in the final of several major events, notably the Bangkok Games four years ago and this year's Asian Championships. She has only beaten David once in five career encounters.

And the rice incentive can only help in her quest ...

Asian Games Squash

Golden Resources Development

Rebecca Chiu

Rebecca promises to keep HK squash
staff in touch with progress in Busan