No one can ignore the growth of popularity in sports in Cambodia, a trend that will surely lead to future recognition on the international stage.
As young people enthusiastically take up team sports, join clubs with gyms become more of a mainstream priority, new types of individual sports are gaining ground.
One of the lesser known of these is the Olympic triathlon, a combination of running, swimming and cycling that is known mainly through the world games, but is gaining its own following in the Kingdom.
For example, there is the Duathlon, where athletes compete in just the running and cycling parts. In the Aquathlon, a 400-metre run is followed by an equidistant swim and then another, shorter, run to the finish line.
“We are working to inform Cambodian citizens about the Olympic game of the triathlon, since it is very famous internationally,” Sokpanha said. Cambodia has had three triathlon events in its history, all held this year in Phnom Penh.
The most recent was a duathlon at Koh Peach on August 25, which attracted 400 participants.
One of those who tried his hand at the challenge was UN Office on Drugs and Crime worker Narin, who says he immediately took to the duathlon because it combined his two favourite sports.
“Of course, I am not an athlete and I don’t do it to be a champion - it’s just for fun. However, I just try my best to complete the two challenges.” Narin added.
More of the endurance events are planned for Cambodia yet – five a year, if things go according to plan.
Although the remainder of this year’s competitions have been cancelled due to the death of the King father, come February, bike, track and swim nuts will have their signature event back up and running.
Best of all, registration is free of charge for students and only 10,000 riels for the employed. For more information or learn more about the triathlon, visit Cambodia Triathlon Federation's website.