Winners accused of taking a short cut

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 4:39am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 6:18am

Team Nepal was refusing last night to accept second place in the 100-kilometre Oxfam Trailwalker race, accusing the winners, Team Columbia S1, of taking a short cut.

But executive councillor Bernard Chan, chairman of the Oxfam Trailwalker Advisory Committee, said it was common to take different routes during the event and that they might not necessarily mean a faster time. He added he himself had taken a different route when competing in the event in the past.

Meanwhile, one team in the race had an added challenge as they navigated the course yesterday - calling themselves Fearless Dragon, all four men are either vision- or hearing-impaired.

They were among the 4,800 people who took part in the annual race.

It was the first time the fearless four had participated in the annual fundraiser, and they aimed to finish the hike within 36 hours. All competitors must reach the destination - the Po Leung Kuk Jockey Club Tai Tong Holiday Camp in Yuen Long - in 48 hours.

Mok Kim-wing lost his sight completely when he was 13. He said he and his teammates wanted to take part in the race to prove they could do it. "Although we have different impairments, we hope we can work together and make up for each other's weaknesses," Mok said. He said they had been preparing for the race since March, training three days a week with a police officer from the Special Duties Unit.

Two teams of amputees also competed in the race. It was the first Trailwalker for Shun Sze-chit, who has been wearing a prosthetic right leg for 11 years. Shun said he hoped to finish the route in 40 hours. "I don't regret taking this on … the pain - it's a challenge," he said.

Funds raised will go to charity projects on the mainland and in Africa and to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.