I ran with him early this year HHH

Hit-and-run driver ends his 193-country footprint dream

KOTA KINABALU: Chinese national Tong Jus (pic) dream of leaving his footprints in 193 countries was tragically cut short when he was knocked down by a vehicle in Kg Limbanak near here.

Tong became a hit-and-run victim late Saturday evening while doing what he enjoyed most jogging.

The 52-year-old, who became the first man to jog three times around China in 1994 and covered all South-East Asian countries since 2007, was found dead by the roadside.

Penampang district police chief Deputy Supt Madang Usat said police were investigating the case as hit and run.

Tong, who had been in Brunei and Sabah since early this year, covered most parts of the state, including climbing Mount Kinabalu, and was planning to leave for Taiwan this week before returning to his hometown Hei Long Jiang in Harbin to celebrate his fathers 82nd birthday.

This may be my the last time I see my parents as they are elderly. Whether I can be back alive is still a question mark, he was quoted as saying in a recent interview here when he spoke of his plans to return home and later head for the Philippines and Pacific islands.

Tong had also said that it was his love for running and interest in geography that set him on a jogging mission to spread Chinas 5,000-year-old culture and history to the world.

I want to leave something to the world my life, my dream, my spirit, my starting and ending point. Life is short, we should do what we want while we are alive, Tong was quoted as saying.

He leaves behind his parents, a 25-year-old daughter and four brothers.

Local associations were helping the relevant authorities to send Tongs body back to his homeland.