NOCC Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun (centre) speaks next to Cambodian Triathlon Federation President Kong Rithy Chub (right) during a media conference at NagaWorld yesterday morning about the upcoming Phnom Penh International Duathlon. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post
The inaugural Phnom Penh International Duathlon, due off on July 15, is expected to attract 600 competitors and serve as a pathfinder for the development of this multifaceted Olympic discipline in the Kingdom.
Duathlon is an abridged version of the more technically demanding triathlon, and involves a stretch of cycling between two spells of running.
“This is a relatively new experience for our local competitors but is a perfect build up for the promotion of triathlon,” Cambodian Triathlon Federation President Kong Rithy Chub told the Post on the sidelines of a media conference at NagaWorld yesterday, highlighting the salient features of the event.
“The response so far has been very encouraging. We expect a good number of expats to compete. Interest in the event among local cyclists and runners is growing and it is a good sign,” he added.
“We are thankful to our major sponsors Coca-Cola, FTB Cash Card, Cambodian Country Club, Peace Book Centre, Giant, Parkway Health and Smart for their support. There are a good number of silver sponsors who are actively supporting this event as well. We hope we get the same level of support for our international events in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville later this year.”
The organisers have split the event into three categories in an effort to inspire competitors of all ages.
The showpiece section, open for the 18 to 40 years old age group, revolves around an initial run of five kilometres followed by a 20-kilometre biking challenge and a home run of 2.5 kilometres.
The distances conform to half of the Olympic level standards.
Participants in the U18 and above-40 categories will go through 10 kilometres of cycling on either side of 2.5 kilometres of running.
Both the running and cycling routes are around the periphery of NagaWorld, where the event starts and finishes, stretching out to the lanes of nearby Diamond Island.
National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun hailed the Federation’s efforts, contending that an open air discipline such as triathlon not only spurred running, cycling and swimming activities but it also boosted the tourism sector.
“I am hopeful that triathlon will find its way to the SEA Games in the next couple of years. It may not happen in 2013 because [hosts] Myanmar have no triathlon federation yet, but six of the 10 ASEAN members have,” said the NOCC official.
The CTF will also be unveiling two more stellar events by the end of this year.
The Angkor Wat International Duathlon has been scheduled for September 30 and the Sihanoukville International Triathlon for December 16.
The southern coast resort city of Sihanoukville as a venue assumes added significance because, for the first time, open sea swimming would be a competitive stage in a triathlon event in Cambodia.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]