Heep Yunn star Maggie opts for speed training

HONG Kong's star woman middle distance runner Maggie Chan Man-yee has altered her plans for the Easter holidays and will not be going on a second visit to Chinese wonder coach Ma Junren's training camp in Liaoning.

Maggie accepted Ma's invitation to train with his world record-breaking runners during the Chinese New Year period and had originally planned to return to Liaoning over Easter.

However, the 18-year-old has now decided to go to the Guangzhou Sports Institute for speed training instead. Ma put his charges through tough endurance training every day, requiring them to run a full marathon of 42 kilometres.

''I have been unable to contact Ma, so I'm going to Guangzhou instead,'' said Maggie. ''My endurance is good but I need to do more speed work, and in Guangzhou the top girls can run the 800 metres in two minutes.'' Maggie has just come back from Budapest, Hungary, where she took part in the World Cross Country Championships. She placed 65th in the junior women's field of 143, with a time of 15 minutes, 59 seconds in the 4.3 km course.

''I was very nervous at the start, because I've never competed among so many top runners from all over the world,'' the Form Six student of Heep Yunn School said.