Runners triumph over adversity

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 February, 2014, 12:24pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 February, 2014, 6:30pm

Cheung Kai-shing lost his leg to a rare bone cancer a few years ago but that wasn’t enough to stop him from taking part in the 10-kilometre run at this year’s Hong Kong Marathon.

With his right leg amputated below the knee, the 27-year-old has to make do with a carbon fibre prosthetic, similar to the one used by South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorious.

“It still hurts my knee when I run,” said Cheung. “I don’t really care about time – as long as I can finish, I’m happy.”

The 10km event attracted a variety of athletes with physical disabilities aiming to use the annual event to spur hope and overcome personal tragedy.

Cherie Yeung Siu-fong, 23, who lost both her arms to an electrical accident, paired up with visually impaired student Michelle Siu Hoi-yan, 17 to form a unique team.

“I was her eyes and [Michelle] was the arms,” said Yeung. “The most important thing was that we had the utmost trust in each other.”

The duo, which had been training intensely since October, managed to finish the run under 90 minutes, despite having difficulties dodging faster runners and weaving through crowds at the starting point.

Also participating in the events were Paralympian sporting stars Chan Shing-chung and William So Wa-wai – both completed the 10km under their target of 60 minutes.

“If you fear hardship, you’ll never achieve good results,” said Chan, who helped Hong Kong nab gold for the 4x100 relays during the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. “In life, you just have to try your best to do what you have to do and finish it.”