Triple happiness for 10km champ as friends win, too

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 February, 2012, 12:00am


Winning is always great, but joining his sweetheart and his good friend on the winners' podium provided triple happiness for Chan Ka-ho, champion in the 10-kilometre race.

'I am over the moon, as this is my first win in the 10km, 11 years after I first joined the Hong Kong Marathon,' the final-year Baptist University student said.

'But today is wonderful, as it's not only me who stands on the highest block on the medal podium. My girlfriend [Christy Yiu Kit-ching, whom he met six years ago] and my good friend [Gi Ka-man, with whom he grew up in long-distance running] also made it in the half-marathon. It's like triple happiness.'

'They may have been the favourites to win their races, but I wasn't,' Chan said. 'I had expected only a top-three finish, as there was a tough opponent from Australia and also defending champion Mark Ryan. But the overseas runner could not make the race because of a calf injury, while Ryan had a poor start, leaving me to fight against a former triathlete throughout the race.'

Chan, who ran the 10km once before in 2001, crossed the finish line in 32 minutes and 45 seconds, followed by Lo Ching-hin in 33:12. Third place went to American Barclay-Grundler Curtis in 33:34.

'It's just perfect and I hope to challenge the Hong Kong best time of 31:17,' Chan said. 'I was occupied by a placement job as a teacher, as I am in the final year of my physical education course, making me busy and tired. But I was fortunate to have the Chinese New Year as a timely break to get back in peak form.'

After 2001, Chan moved to the half-marathon until 2008, the year he won. He then stepped up to the marathon, but with little joy.

'Perhaps I still need more time to build my endurance level, and that's why I decided to go back to the 10km this year. It's a smart move, isn't it?'

Chan, 27, was urged by well-wishers to marry his girlfriend as soon as possible, but he said that was for the future.

'I have plans to marry her, but now I prefer a big buffet to dine with Christy to celebrate our victories,' he said. 'It's not easy to both win on the same day in a big event like the Hong Kong Marathon.'