Tardivat title on the line
By MIKE FIELD
MACAU-BASED Frenchman Franck Tardivat defends his Eric Liddell Memorial 10-kilometre title at Sha Tin tonight against strong opposition from among the expected 200 starters.
Tardivat won last year's race in 32 minutes 54 seconds but now faces top Watson's Athletics Club pair Martin Peace and Simon Parsons, who finished first and second in last Sunday's Adidas King of the Road 10-kilometre final - also at Sha Tin.
Peace and Parsons were a full minute faster than Tardivat's winning time last year.
Top senior Nick Helms from Athletics Veterans of Hongkong is also in fine form once again after two years in the wilderness through injury.
Last Sunday Helms finished a creditable sixth overall in 32:20 after staying right on the pace until the final kilometre and should be among the leaders. Watson's Water-Hongkong Sports Institute Elite runner Cheung Man-ho will also have a say. The defending women's champion, Gillian Castka of Ladies Road Runners, similarly faces strong opposition from Watson's Chiu Pik-kwan who finished second behind LRRC's top runner Lucy Ramwell on Sunday.
Ramwell, preparing for April's London Marathon, does not race this evening.