Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Girl, 6, forced into marathon runs by father

A father in south China has been forcing his six-year-old daughter to run dozens of kilometers every day in the hope of turning her into a marathon prodigy. He is also fast-tracking her through school and she has a heavy study routine.

And the point of all this pressure, this gruelling regime, on such a little girl? He wants to impress his runaway wife and win her back.

Yang Feng, in Haikou City of Hainan Province, said he forced his daughter into the rigorous training schedule because he wanted to gain the girl some media coverage and catch her mother's attention. Though Yang said he was concerned about his daughter's health, including her puffy toes and badly swollen feet, the training continues.

Yang said he used to have "a lovely family" until their peaceful life was wrecked when his wife suddenly run away from home with a man - and all the family savings.

After several months of trying to find his wife failed, he decided to give his daughter the mission of reuniting the couple by becoming a famous marathon runner. "She just finished running 138 kilometers in two days and my target for her is to finish the same distance in one run," Yang said.

Yang said he would let his daughter register for next year's Provincial Marathon of Hainan as a further bid to win her mother back.

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