Rayson stays out in front

HONGKONG'S leading triathlete Ian Rayson tightened his grip on the season's Winter Aquathon Series with a comfortable win at Aberdeen yesterday.

Clocking 27 minutes and three seconds for the 400 metres swim and gruelling 3.7 kilometres run up Brick Hill, Rayson easily beat off a challenge from promising junior James Hartwright, 16, who opted to compete in the men's open event.

Hartwright clocked 28:28 to finish second overall ahead of third-placed Rob Parkes who completed the course in 29 minutes flat.

But pride of place went to 12-year-old Mark Bailey who turned in a show-stopping performance to clock 29:26 in finishing fourth overall to win the boys' under-14 title.

Bailey now joins the elite Hongkong junior squad ranked the best in Asia, along with second-placed Hartwright and the Bozarth brothers, Brian and Donnie, who missed yesterday's race through illness and injury.

With leading woman triathlete Bobo Lee also on the injured list after Thursday's Eric Liddell Memorial 10-kilometre race, newly-crowned Adidas Queen of the Road Chiu Pik-kwan of Watson's scored a five-second victory over Sue Ross of Ladies Road Runners Club.

Ana Tol, competing in the girls' under-17 category, took third place overall in 32:56.

The event, organised by the Police Training School, saw 157 competitors in action.

The second race in the season's Sun Hung Kai Triplet Series, over 18 kilometres, will be held this morning on the waterworks catchment road at Sek Kong.

Favourite is marathon man Cha Wah-kwai of Road Runners Athletic Club, who won the first race of the series over 16 kilometres at Tai Lam Country Park six weeks ago.

AVOHK senior runner Nick Helms and Tsuen Wan's Ko Ah-yung are expected to provide the main opposition as most of Hongkong's leading distance men are resting for next Sunday's Golden Mile in Central.

Lisa Hintz was an easy victor in the women's race at Tai Lam Chung, winning by over two minutes from Gillian Catska, Sheila Purves and Mallette Clynes.