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King of the Road plans to go abroad

ORGANISERS of the popular adidas King of the Road series are planning to expand the event across the continent - and end with an Asian final in Hong Kong.

The series is already up and running in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore and moves are being made to hold national competitions much further afield.

The ultimate goal of sponsors and local athletics administrators is for the individual men's and women's champion from each country to gather in the territory to contest an Asian final to produce a King and Queen of the Road.

At a news conference to launch the 13th running of the series in Hong Kong yesterday, the president of the Philippines Amateur Athletic Track and Field Association, Go Teng Kok, spoke of the expansion plans.

''The success of the King of the Road series in Hong Kong will provide valuable guidelines and direction to the Philippines Amateur Athletic Track and Field Association in organising a King of the Road event in the country,'' said Go.

''Although I am the president of the Philippines Association, I am quite anxious to see the King of the Road being promoted in other Asian countries.

''As I was born of Chinese origin, I sincerely hope that such distance running events originated in a Chinese society (Hong Kong) will be further developed in other Asian countries.'' If there was enough support, countries would hold their qualifying competitions in 1994 and run in Hong Kong in the final race of the 1994-95 series.

The chairman of the Hong Kong AAA, William Ko, said the success of the Hong Kong series had encouraged many youngsters to take up running - and that a successful Asian circuit would do the same across the continent.

''But the timing of the race would have to be discussed. The Hong Kong series ends in February, so would it be held then or at the start of next season, when all the countries would know their representatives?'' said Ko.

The Hong Kong series starts with an eight-kilometre race on Bowen Road on November 28 and continues with a 7.2-kilometre run on The Peak on January 9. The third and final race, the longest at 10 kilometres, will be on February 6 at Sha Tin.

Hong Kong's King and Queen of the Road will receive all-expenses paid trips to Australia for the City to Surf 14-kilometre race next August.