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Runners sprint off at the start of the 5km race of the 2014 Pursat River Run
Runners sprint off at the start of the 5km race of the 2014 Pursat River Run on Sunday. STEVE HARKNETT

Cool runnings in Pursat

Clement weather conditions helped contribute towards some impressive times including two new race records at the seventh edition of the Pursat River Run held on Sunday in Pursat provincial town.

National team athlete Kieng Samorn, who represented the Kingdom in the men’s 800m at the 2012 London Olympics, triumphed in the 5-kilometre race in an event-best time of 18 minutes 3 seconds, according to race organisers.Samorn’s national team-mate Ma Viro, meanwhile, stormed to first place in the 10km race, crossing the line in 34:13. Another River Run record fell in the women’s 5km section, with Heng Mengchu coming home in 22:01.

Expatriates dominated the 10km women’s race with Veronique Messina of France the winner in 43:38.

The annual Pursat River Run, which follows a course along the banks of the province’s eponymous river, is organised by Pursat’s Sports Office.

A total of 779 participants competed this year from schools, companies and NGOs in Pursat, as well as runners from Phnom Penh. Along with races over 5km and 10km, there was also a competition for athletes with a disability.

Race founder and co-organiser Steve Harknett from the UK explained the run’s aim was to develop athletics both at the elite level and at grassroots level.

“We’ve had quite a few athletes from the national athletics and triathlon teams take part this year, as well as hundreds of kids from rural schools around Pursat,” he told the Post by email yesterday.

“The event has helped to identify some new running talent in Pursat such as Koch Sambo, a student from Krakor [district] who came fourth in the 10km just behind national-level athletes.”



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