YEE Hope's Cheng On-wah defied logic and searing temperatures to pass the Hong Kong Football Association's mandatory fitness test yesterday - barely one hour after failing the gruelling 3,000 metres-in-12-minutes challenge. Cheng recovered from a narrow failure earlier in the day to scrape through at the second attempt after being roared over the line by teammates. The HKFA introduced the deeply unpopular fitness test last season. Players have to run 3,000 metres in 12 minutes or under before being allowed to play in the First Division. 'I still felt okay after the first test . . . I only missed by about 100 metres. I am pleased I took it again because now I have got it out of the way,' an exhausted Cheng said afterwards. Cheng's feat was the highlight of an otherwise unremarkable day of testing at the Siu Sai Wan Stadium. Of the 73 players from Yee Hope, Happy Valley, Sai Kung Friends and Instant Dict who took part, there were only nine failures. Among the nine to fail was Cheng's Yee Hope teammate Chiu Chung-man. Like Cheng, former Hong Kong international Chiu had taken the test earlier in the afternoon and failed. Unlike Cheng, Chiu's second attempt was hopelessly unsuccessful. The 28-year-old midfielder was nearly a full lap away from the finish line when the 12-minute hooter sounded on his brave second attempt. Chiu, who is asthmatic, is now staring another season of Second Division football in the face. Last season he took the test three times for Sing Tao - and failed each time. 'I am disappointed. I felt good doing the test in training but today I took it and I felt tense. I just did not feel too good,' Chiu said. 'But I will keep taking it until I pass,' he added. Another failure was Yee Hope's Scottish player-coach Neil Armour. Armour, who passed the test at the first attempt last season, remained unconcerned by the setback. 'I'm not worried at all. Part of the problem is that the FA told us only four days ago . . . when we've had a bit of time to prepare we'll all pass no problem,' Armour said. Earlier league champions Instant Dict had a successful test session, with only one player from their 21-strong squad - Poon Man-chun - failing. 'It's good to get it out of the way early,' said captain Tim O'Shea.