Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2016

Olympics-bound Christy Yiu scoops bumper Hong Kong Marathon payday after finishing sixth

The 28-year-old received a bonus for being the fastest local female runner as she finishes 14 seconds outside her personal best

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 January, 2016, 3:59pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 January, 2016, 6:17pm

Christy Yiu Kit-ching had the most rewarding race of her athletic career with a sixth place finish in the women’s marathon yesterday.

The 28-year-old from Tai Po took home a whopping HK$56,879 for less than three hour’s work as a result of her overall position in the 42.2km race plus a further bonus for being the fastest local female runner home.

At one stage it looked as though the diminutive runner might scoop the top prize of US$65,000, as she led the women’s elite field to the 13-kilometre mark.

“No one else wanted to take over the pace so I just kept going in front,” said Yiu. “It was quite blustery out there so I was hoping someone else would take over the lead to give me some shelter from the wind and rain.

WATCH: Christy Yiu on her Olympic preparation

Girls from the same country were running tactically – one of them would cover me all the time when I dropped back into the pack, while some of them were pushing and elbowing me
Christy Yiu Kit-ching

“Girls from the same country were running tactically – one of them would cover me all the time when I dropped back into the pack, while some of them were pushing and elbowing me – I really didn’t expect that.”

MORE: Read all of our Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2016 here

Yiu, who has already qualified for the Rio Olympics, was hoping to break the Hong Kong record of two hours, 35 minutes and 49 seconds, but ended up crossing the line in 2:38.38, just 14 seconds outside her personal best time but significantly seven minutes faster than she ran in last year’s race.

WATCH: reaction from the marathon winners 
 
“We went through the first half in 1:20 – it was very slow indeed,” added Yiu. “Last year the Korean winner set a much faster pace, so I was hoping we would have the same pace yesterday.”
 
Record holder Maggie Chan Man-yee had flown in from the USA to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event and will fly back to Oklahoma on Wednesday with her record still intact, but probably not for much longer.

“Christy is running very well right now and has improved considerably during the past year,” said Anthony Giorgi, head coach at the Hong Kong Sports Institute.

“I think it’s good that she encountered some pushing and shoving today. She needs to get used to that because that is what happens in the big marathon events.

READ: Flying visit: UK’s Jack Martin takes Men’s 10km race in record Hong Kong time

“The conditions today were quite tough for marathon running but Christy handled everything very well indeed, which is why she finished in sixth place and earned a considerable amount of prize money.”

Yiu’s next major event will be the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff at the end of March.