Minister of Tourism Thong Khon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) and permanent vice-president of the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), lauded the success of the 6th Angkor Ultra Trail 2023.

He said the event – which took place in the Angkor Archeological Park – demonstrated Cambodia’s ability to host the upcoming 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games.

“Cambodia is one of the most peaceful countries in the region, and through this peace, has developed rapidly in all areas, including sports. The success of this event shows we are ready to play host to the upcoming games, which be held under the theme ’Sports: Live in Peace’,” he said, as he presided over the February 4 closing ceremony of the event.

He also thanked the government for giving the Ministry of Tourism and NOCC the opportunity to work with Edouard George, president of Phoenix Voyages, to organise the races, after two years of Covid-19 related cancellations.

“Thanks to the government’s effective response to the challenges of the pandemic, we are able to once again enjoy this spectacular event. More than 1,000 athletes from 43 countries were able to take part in the competition, right here, surrounded by the beauty of Angkor,” he said.

There were six categories, ranging from ultra-marathons to middle distance runs. Athletes ran through a variety of temples, trails and rice fields.

There were 83 entrants to the 100km race, 107 in the 64km, 450 in the 42km – a standard marathon – 160 in the 32km, 278 in the 16km and 121 in the 8km race.

Khon praised the organising committee of the event, the APSARA National Authority, the security forces, the health and safety team, and the various officials from the Siem Reap authorities who had made it possible, as well as the athletes who sacrificed their time and energy to make the event a success.

“The Kingdom of Cambodia is a clean and green tourist destination. We are set to welcome the SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games, from May of this year. I am also looking forward to seeing the return of many more international and domestic visitors for next year’s Angkor Ultra Trail,” he said.

George, president of Phoenix Voyages, which co-organised the event, was delighted with the return of the competition, which attracted many domestic and international entrants.

“What I found remarkable – and encouraging – this year, was the number of Cambodians who finished the long distance events, including the 100km. I expect to see even more in the coming years,” he said.