Williams waltzes to easy victory

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 May, 2006, 12:00am

Mark Williams won the men's race in the inaugural Hong Kong Runner Half Marathon in warm and humid conditions at Sha Tin yesterday after an anticipated duel with the Tsuen Wan AC trio of Gi Ka-man, Chan Ka-ho and Wong Wang-keung failed to materialise.

The race was staged over a flat and fast course, half of which followed the bank of the Tolo Harbour, and the other half around the Shing Mun River.

'I was expecting to be pushed hard today but the Tsuen Wan boys didn't seem to start racing until the 2km mark,' said Williams. 'By that time I'd built up a very handy lead, so there really was no pressure on me for most of the race.'

Williams held a lead of 31 seconds at the 5km mark, and had extended that to more than a minute by the time he reached the 10km turn around point.

His winning time of one hour, 15 minutes and 33 seconds saw him finish one minute and 10 seconds ahead of second-placed Gi, while Chan and Wong dead-heated for third place in 1:17:31.

JoeJoe Fan Siu-ping was gifted victory in the women's race when the early leader, Leung Ying-suet, somehow managed to get lost between 12 and 15km, even though she was among 1,000 runners.

'I didn't expect to win today, but of course I'm happy with the victory,' said Fan.

A lack of concentration probably caused Leung to stray from the well-marked and well-marshalled course, as she had no explanation.

Fan's winning time was 1:32:14, while Aya Tanaka was second in 1:36:04 and Tsai Woan-nuo ran bravely to finish third in 1:36:57.

Chan, Gi and Cheung Chun-ngai won the men's team event running for Team adidas while Fan, Tsai and Cheung Pui-ling won the women's team prize competing for Lok Wah Running Club.