Rain puts brakes on racers
Competitors battling it out in on foot and bike in Race One of this year's Duathlon Series - faced a third challenge at Hong Kong Science Park in Sha Tin last Sunday - the slippery roads caused by steady rain.
Hong Kong Triathlon Association officials warned athletes to take extra care when cycling in the race.
'I had moments when I was leading the pack in the cycling, but I couldn't increase my speed because of the weather,' said a disappointed Jeffrey Tan Ho-fai, who finished second behind Kenneth Kwok Wing-kan in the Men's elite junior race.
'My rivals were able to catch up with me before the change over to running; next time I will save more energy for running instead.'
The men's elite juniors' (born from 1993 to 1996) and open juniors' (born from 1997 to 2000) competitions involved first running 3.2km, then cycling 12km and finally running a further 3.2km to the finish.
Kenneth, a Form Five student at La Salle College, in Kowloon, overtook Jeffrey over the final 30m to win his first elite junior title in a time of 49 minutes 16 seconds. Jeffery finished only two seconds behind, with Eric Wong Hui-wai third and Abraham Kok Yu-hang fourth.
'I haven't beaten Jeffrey for quite a long time,' said Kenneth, who was called up into Hong Kong Triathlon Association's National Squad B at Hong Kong Sports Institute, following last September's time trial.
' I hope I can repeat this win in next month'ssecond race in the Duathlon Series.'
In the girls competition, race favourite Sammie Wu Sum-yi, a Form Five student at Diocesan Girls' School, in Kowloon, found herself competing without most of her close friends from the Hong Kong junior triathlon team.
'Lots of my teammates are DSE candidates and they are not taking part in competitions until they finish their exams in May,' Sammie said.
She led throughout the race to win in 55 minutes 23 sec, with Aggie Lee Yuk-ying finishing 32sec behind in second and Tsang Ka-hung third in 56 min 3 sec.
However, Sammie said she found the race tough. 'My strength is in swimming, but here I only had to do running and cycling. I had lost to Ka-hung in a 10km running race two months ago and that was on my mind in the race. I had to slow down during the cycling as my brakes did not work well in the slippery conditions. I didn't get any clear advantage until the last lap of running.'
In the men's junior open, Michael Lam, Jeffrey Shuen Chun-kit and Heung Chin-tung were the top three-placed finishers. In the girls' junior open, which featured only two participants, Pang Ching-wai was first, with Vanessa Ng second.