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Japanese Men Sweep Podium As Rai Strolls to Victory

Author : Press Release
PhotoCredit : Action Asia

Mira Rai of Nepal Crosses the Finish Line

Japan’s Yuichi Miura and Mira Rai of Nepal blitzed a competitive field at today’s MSIG Lantau 50 - Asian Skyrunning Championships to be crowned Asian champions in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

Miura led a Japanese sweep of the Asian men’s podium for the tough and technical 54km race, crossing the finish line in 6 hours 2 minutes and 9 seconds, more than 30 minutes ahead of second-placed compatriot Kazuaki Hoshino (6:39:11) and Goshi Osaka (6:42:47) in third.

Miura said: “I joined this race last year too and the second half of the race made a very deep impression on me so I purposely saved some energy for the later half and the strategy helped a lot. This race result is one of my life achievements. I also enjoyed the scenery along the race as the Lantau trail view is more open than that of Japan’s. The parts where I could see the sea view was for sure my favorite.”

Rai, National Geographic’s 2017 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year, finished in a stunning 6:50:34. Japanese women rounded off the Asian women’s podium - Yukari Hoshino (7:52:32) of the Skyrunning Team / ALTRA in second and Kaori Niwa (8:02:10) of Team Salomon in third. 

Rai also claimed the overall women’s title. She said: “I’m very satisfied with my performance today and I’m very happy to travel to Hong Kong and join this race again this year. I especially loved the course design as the course combines different varieties of terrains, uphill, downhill, natural trails and stone steps. It was very challenging and I encouraged myself to keep moving so I enjoyed the entire race very much today.”

Spanish elite Cristofer Clemente was the fastest man of the day in 5:49:02, improving on his second place last year. Said Clemente: “l’m really excited to be able to race in Hong Kong again. Today was much hotter than last year’s MSIG Lantau 50 which made the race even more challenging. I was not leading the race at the beginning but I continued to run at my own pace. I’m really happy to get the champion title of the MSIG Lantau 50.”

Kazuaki Hoshino, who was third overall, said: “I didn’t expect to come third in today’s race. I’m really satisfied and all I thought about was keep running and don’t stop. The Lantau and Sunset Peaks were the most technical for me and I enjoyed racing in Hong Kong.”

The race, which flagged off from Tung Chung, Lantau Island, saw both local and international athletes tested on a course that is renowned to be one of the most difficult in Asia. Going over many of the island’s highest peaks, including Lantau Peak (934m) and Sunset Peak (869m), the course boasted a total elevation gain of 3,500m.

Second-placed Asian woman Yukari Hoshino said: “The course was so challenging and tough and required different skills from trail runners, especially when climbing up Lantau Peak, there were lots of stairs with very steep uphill trails. However, the view at the top was so stunning that I can’t wait to compete on the same course next year!”

Participating in the MSIG Lantau 50 for her first time, Niwa said: “I am satisfied with my result today. At first I couldn’t run smoothly, but fortunately I found my pace later and kept on running in a hyper mood. I love the stunning view of Lantau, I hope to have another attempt at the MSIG Lantau 50 and to fight for an even better result!”

Hosted in Hong Kong for its third year, the much anticipated MSIG Lantau 50 - Asian Skyrunning Championships attracted some of the speediest trail runners from the region. Stars who raced today included Nepal’s Mira Rai, Spanish Cristofer Clemente, Malaysian elites Mohamad Affindi Bin Nudin and Adelinah Lintangga (Narna), Marcelino Sana-oy and Sandi Menchi Abahan from Philippines Skyrunning team, Pornmongkol Phoothong and Jutharath Phansrikhum from Thailand, Taiwanese elite runners Chou Pin-chi, Stella Chen, Chou Ching, Yukari Hoshino, Fei Zhiping and Wang Biao from mainland China, Kaori Niwa and Yuichi Miura from Japan Skyrunning team, Alvin Png from Singapore and Korean Skyrunners Jinwan Kim and Heeseong Noh.

Flagging off at 6.30am, the 54km course headed from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping, along the Keung Shan ridge down to the Shek Pik area and back over Lantau and Sunset Peaks, before contouring around and down to Pak Mong, and finally heading back to Tung Chung for the finish at Man Tung Road Park.

Two other distances were offered: a 16km course contouring the ridge from Sunset Peak to Pak Mong, and a 27km course going over Lantau and Sunset Peaks.

An official race of the International Skyrunning Federation, the 54km event was also one of the scoring races for the recently-launched MSIG Action Asia Development Programme, which aims to develop local trail running talent for the world stage. The top-placed male and female Hong Kong-born runners in the MSIG HK50 Series will be sent to Europe to compete in the Skyrunning World Championships in 2018.

The event is organized by Action Asia Events and is possible thanks to the generous support of presenting sponsor MSIG Insurance (Hong Kong) Limited and supporting partners: Action X Store, International Skyrunning Federation, China Skyrunning Association, Hoka One One, C3fit, Bonaqua, Hong Kong Plantronics, Camelbak, Coca Cola, AroundDB, Royale International, East Bali Cashews, Joint Dynamics, International Trail-Running Association, UTMB Qualifier and Action Asia Foundation.

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Asia’s Trail Running Stars All Set To Blitz MSIG Lantau 50

Asia’s Trail Running Stars All Set To Blitz MSIG Lantau 50
Hosted in Hong Kong for its third year, the much anticipated Asian Skyrunning Championships – MSIG Lantau 50 has attracted Read More

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