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Marathon stars shine

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The men’s and women’s winners (left) after the race. Nary Ly is aiming to take part in the London Olympics as well as the SEA Games. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN

The men’s and women’s winners (left) after the race. Nary Ly is aiming to take part in the London Olympics as well as the SEA Games. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN

WELL-established long distance runners Hem Bunting and Nary Ly expectedly took the men’s and women’s top honours respectively in the national half marathon organised by the Ministry of Education at Kampong Cham town on Tuesday.

It was a piece of cake for the International Angkor Wat Half Marathon and Phnom Penh Half Marathon winner Bunting, who won easily in a time of one hour, 13 minutes, nearly eight minutes ahead of Ma Viro in a field of 20 starters.

Hem Bunting, who is arguably Cambodia’s best distance runner ever, is seen in athletics circles as a bright medal prospect at November’s SEA Games in Indonesia.

The victory for Nary Ly in the women’s event  run concurrently involving 10 participants could not have been sweeter, having been controversially disqualified from the Phnom Penh Half Marathon two months ago for apparently taking a wrong route.

“We finished where we started. It was a 10.5km run down the road and back,” Nary Ly told the Post yesterday.

Nary Ly, who clocked her personal best at the Paris International marathon this year and is striving hard for a place in the 2012 London Olympics, has been training hard to be in good shape for the ensuing SEA Games in Indonesia, where a good result could give her a ticket to London.

Without being pressed hard at any stage, Nary Ly returned a time of one hour, 31 minutes, nearly half and hour in front of second placed Amy San Sopheak. Nary Ly, who is now based in Phnom Penh, returns to Kampong Cham on Friday to take part in a women’s 5km race.

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