Chan Ka-ho and Christy Yiu triumph in Hong Kong Half Marathon
Newly crowned half-marathon champions Chan Ka-ho and girlfriend Christy Yiu Kit-ching must wait two weeks to learn whether or not they will represent Hong Kong at the World Half Marathon Championships in Denmark in March.
The pair won the men's and women's races in the Mizuno Hong Kong Half Marathon Championships at Tai Mei Tuk on Sunday, but both failed to meet the IAAF qualifying time on the challenging Bride's Pool Road course. Yiu bettered the one hour, 20 minutes and 50 seconds qualifying mark last year when she finished second to Michelle Lowry.
Yiu, a 25-year-old nurse, turned the tables on the American runner on Sunday and won the race after six unsuccessful attempts. "Finally," sighed Yiu after breaking the tape in 1:21:35. "I began to wonder whether I would ever win this title.
"Michelle is very strong on the downhill, and she was only about 20 seconds down at the first turnaround point [9km] at Luk Keng, so I knew I couldn't relax. Once I reached Plover Cove Dam [17km] I was confident of victory."
HKAAA executive director Dennis Ng said that a selection committee on January 20 will decide whether or not to send the winning athletes to Denmark.
Chan, 28, has represented Hong Kong once before in the World Half Marathon Championships, and said he would like to be selected again this year. Chan hopes to travel with Yiu to the event.
"My time wasn't all that good today because I had no one to push me," said Chan, who led the 3,000 field of runners home in 1:13:49 for his fifth Mizuno victory. "Gi Ka-man and Tang Man-wa were with me until about the five-kilometre mark, but then Gi unexpectedly pulled out, so suddenly I was setting the pace on my own.
"I'll be disappointed if I don't get selected for Denmark but I can only wait and see what happens now. Christy and I have both run in Europe before so we are expecting ideal conditions and a flat course where we would both be able to run fast times."
Chan finished 41 seconds ahead of rapidly improving Wang Wai-chung, with Tang, winner of the SPT 30km race less than two weeks ago, coming home third.