Parsons and Chan set junior records
LEADING junior distance runners Simon Parsons and Maggie Chan Man-yee last night took advantage of almost perfect distance running conditions to turn in record breaking performances in the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA) organised evening athletics meeting at Wan Chai Sports Ground.
Parsons took the lead from the gun in a big men's 5,000 metres field and in a well timed run clocked 15 minutes and 3.53 seconds to easily break Paul Spowage's 10-year-old Hong Kong men's junior record of 15:15.38 after lapping all runners except second placed Lee Kar-yin of Concord AC.
It has been a good week for Parsons, who last Sunday smashed the Guangdong Province men's junior 3,000 metres record, clocking 8:56.5 when competing in the Watson's Water Second Guangzhou Mayor Cup Championships. He also took 12 seconds off the Hong Kong record for the same event.
''With someone to pull me along along I feel that I could have run comfortably inside 15 minutes and my main aim now is the Hong Kong open record of 14:53 if I have the chance to compete over the distance again in cool weather conditions,'' Parsons said.
Fellow Watson's Athletic Club runner Maggie Chan simply raced away from the opposition in last night's 3,000 metres to clock 9:51.00, which was just inside her own Hong Kong record of 9:52.67 set earlier this month in the Asian Amateur Athletic Association Championships held in Manila in very hot and humid conditions.
Chan, who is competing for Hong Kong schools in tomorrow's Interport Cross Country Championships in Macau, will leave on Monday for China to undergo 10 days of training under the supervision of top Chinese coach Ma Junren in Liaoning.
For Chan, her visit to China will give her the opportunity to experience first hand the training methods which have produced such sensational results among China's women distance runners.
However, Watson's Elite squad coach Garry Brown cautioned that the training will be very hard and Chan, as a young athlete who has not been brought up with those methods, could well have difficulties in coping.
With most athletes shivering in last night's cold and breezy conditions only WAC junior hurdler Tung Chung-man impressed in the shorter distance events to notch up a good double in winning both the men's 110 metres hurdles and 400 metres hurdles.
Tung, who is coached by Brown, clocked 15.50 seconds for the 110 metres event and 55.82 for the 400 metres hurdles.
According to Brown, Tung has been preoccupied with study in recent weeks and so has done little serious training. He is capable of a big improvement in the 400 metres hurdles event when fully fit, says Brown.