HK, Cambodian runners dominate in Khmer Empire Marathon

Runners from Cambodia and Hong Kong dominated in this year’s Khmer Empire Marathon in Siem Reap.

Elaine Lee of Hong Kong and Cambodian runner Sam Rachna topped their respective categories in the 42-km race, the main event for the Khmer Empire Marathon, which returned yesterday after a two-year hiatus.

The 7th Khmer Empire Marathon 2022 drew 2,100 runners from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Spain, United Kingdom (UK), Japan, South Africa, Germany, France, New Zealand, Australia, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and other countries.

There were four categories for the race: Full marathon (42-km), half marathon (21-km), 10-km and 3-km family/fun run.

Rachna finished the full marathon (male category) in 3:26:12, followed by Juan Jose Ruiz Lucas of Spain (3:26:38), Masaru Torii of Japan (3:26:42), and Cambodians Saroeun Kim (3:35:49) and Chim Guanghui (3:39:18).

Lee, meanwhile, topped the female category with a time of 3:37:19, followed by Japanese runners Fukunari Mizuki (3:47:46) and Harada Tamae (3:53:28), and Monique Rutherford of South Africa (3:54:47).

The 21-km half marathon (male) was won by Ouk Farit of Cambodia (1:18:32), followed by Jonas Schubert of Germany (1:26:18), Moeun Em of Cambodia (1:26:23), Jay Beckley of New Zealand (1:27:02) and Meas Tan of Cambodia (1:36:49).

Nicole Distler of Germany topped the female category with a time of 1:40:24, followed by Sarath Carnwath of the UK (1:42:31), Soraya Camarena of Spain (1:44:33), Ngao Thida of Cambodia (1:50:26) and Justine Scholle of France (1:52:32).

The event was jointly organised by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) and Cambodia Events Organiser.

NOCC Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun earlier said that the event will help in the recovery of Cambodia’s tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This will also be a good opportunity to promote Cambodia’s hosting of the 2023 Southeast Asian Games,” he added, referring to Cambodia’s hosting of the region’s biggest sports event in May 2023.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon, Apsara Authority General-Director Hang Pov and Siem Reap Governor Tea Seyha were also present for the event.

Pepsi and Smart Axiata were among the main sponsors of the event.

The Khmer Empire Marathon is one of the very few sports events where the participants are allowed to run along and within the Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodia’s most well-known tourist destination.

The money raised from the event will go towards helping Cambodia’s underprivileged sector.

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