Ma Viro victorious in Sihanoukville Half Marathon

NOCC secretary general Vath Chamroeun presents the Sihanoukville Angkor Beer International Half Marathon winner
NOCC secretary general Vath Chamroeun presents the Sihanoukville Angkor Beer International Half Marathon winner’s award to Ma Viro yesterday. Sareth Meas

Ma Viro victorious in Sihanoukville Half Marathon

Seasoned long distance runner Ma Viro led a Cambodian one-two in the 4th Sihanoukville Angkor Beer International Half Marathon on Saturday, with the first of the Kingdom’s four charity runs this year showing a marginal increase in the participation of overseas runners.

Sydney resident Kylie-Anne Richards made a profitable detour from her trip to Hong Kong to compete in the port city and left Ochheuteal Beach, the start and finish venue for this year’s event a proud winner of the women’s run.

The supporting event, the 10km run for men and women went to Cambodian runners with Kieng Samorn extending his dominance in the men’s section and 23-year old Heng Meng Chu breaking out of several podium finishes to finally grab top honours in the women’s run.

The day’s card also included a 3km family fun run, and for the first time small businesses from the province marked their presence in a one commune-one product expo around the venue. In another notable first, visitors to the half marathon site were also treated to Kun Khmer boxing competition later in the evening.

In all, 250 runners from 30 countries joined 1,000 locals in various categories, marking nearly 10 per cent increase in the number of overseas participants.

“We have clearly seen signs of progress this year. The foreign participation is up and I feel the numbers will be much higher if direct flights to Sihanoukville are made available,” Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee, said.

Once the half marathon field settled down, Ma Viro found himself in a comfortable spot and by midway had taken firm control. There was not even the slightest prospect of anyone catching him about five kilometres out.

He won in a time of 1 hour 18 min and 56 seconds, which was nearly 12 minutes clear of compatriot Phan Sopheak, who finished seven minutes ahead of third placed Hiroshi Ake of Japan.

Runners from Great Britain filled up the next two places, dawdling home behind the Australian in long intervals. I Woodward was second best in 1:52.33 with Adeline further adrift at two hours flat.

In an exciting duel, Kieng Samorn (39.18) staved off a strong challenge from Kang Thoeum with less than a minute separating the pair.

Chea Samphors was a distant third.

Cambodia’s Heng Meng Chu won her 10km race with a measure of comfort in 50 minutes and eight seconds ahead of Chene Mcgona of Australia and Rebecca Devitt of the UK.

The next international half marathon in the calendar this year is set for Phnom Penh in May.


  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,