Cambodian sprinter Chan Seiha (right) practices at Olympic Stadium ahead of her participation at the World Championships. Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun
Chan Seiha will be the Kingdom’s sole representative at the upcoming 2011 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea. The 18-year-old sprinter has been selected by the Cambodia Athletics Federation as their wildcard entrant for the 13th edition of the global showcase which runs from August 27 to September 4.
Seiha has enjoyed a rapid improvement in her running ability over the past few years, which includes setting a Cambodian record of 26.58 seconds when she finished 4th in the 200-metre race of last year’s Southeast Asia Youth Athletics Championship held in Indonesia. The Federation has entered her into the 100m and 200m races in Daegu.
Chan Seiha is the eldest of five children who grew up in Kandal province’s Ang Snoul district. Her rice farming parents gave her permission to move to the capital in 2009 to pursue a sporting career. She is also currently in the sophomore year of a Tourism degree at Human Resource University.
According to Seiha’s coach Pov Sitha, she has consistently excelled at national athletics meets in her chosen events of 100m, 200m and 400m. Seiha has appeared at three regional international competitions over the past two years but has failed to make the podium of an event.
“I felt like a bird in flight when I was given the chance to participate in the [2011 World Championships] because I never believed that I could,” Chan Seiha told the Post shortly before her departure flight from Phnom Penh International Airport on Tuesday. “Though there will be more experienced female athletes coming to join the tournament, I promise I will improve on my old record or at least to challenge in the 100m and 200m,” she added.
Chan Seiha will be accompanied in Korea by CAF General Secretary Pen Vuthy. TRANSLATED BY PANN RETHEA