Hutchison Whampoa

Lee leads Watson's over the army hills

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 January, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 January, 1994, 12:00am

LEE Kar-lun led Watson's Athletics Club to overall honours at the Hong Kong Cross Country Championships at Au Tam Mei yesterday.

Lee won the men's individual race, a tough 11-kilometre course set in the hills above an army camp, in 35 minutes and 29 seconds, anchoring Watson's to the Hong Kong Amateur Athletics Association's team title.

Watson's beat the British Forces by a comfortable 10-point margin.

Lee received excellent support from Simon Parsons, who finished second just four seconds behind in 35:33, and early race leader Martin Peace, who clocked 36:22 for fifth place.

Track specialist Roberto De Vido, Hong Kong's 1500 metres and 5000 metres record holder, finished 14th overall.

The big surprise of the men's race, however, was the total eclipse of favourite Cheung Man-ho, of the Road Runners Athletic Club and the Watson's Elite Squad, by both Lee and Parsons.

Cheung finished a tired third in 35:46 after the Watson's pair had made the break for home with less than a kilometre to go.

Tsuen Wan Athletic Club's Kwok Hon-kwai took fourth place in 36:07 as the New Territories-based defending champions were totally out-gunned by both Watson's and British Forces Sports Club. They finished a distant third on 173 points.

But the day's most emphatic win came in the women's open race when Watson's top middle-distance runner Maggie Chan Man-yee raced away from a strong pack to clock 21:44 in the 5.5-kilometre course.

Chan, who is also a member of the Watson's Elite Squad, left second-placed Yuko Gordon of the Ladies Road Runners Club trailing in her wake by nearly two minutes, in a time of 23:24 with LRRC's Sheila Purves third overall in 23:30.

But Chan's effort was not quite enough to give Watson's the women's team title as LRRC showed greater the depth. Watsons' second-ranked runner, Pik Kwan, was unavailable due to work commitments.

LRRC retained their title with 24 points to Watson's 45.