Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japanese comedian running for Cambodia



Japanese comedian running for Cambodia

Neko Hiroshi runs along Phnom Penh’s riverside area during a half marathon in 2011.
Neko Hiroshi runs along Phnom Penh’s riverside area during a half marathon in 2011.

Japanese comedian running for Cambodia

Japanese “Owarai” comedian Neko Hiroshi has been given a universality placement by the International Olympic Committee to represent Cambodia in this year’s Olympic Games in Rio, according to Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia.

Horoshi, who became a naturalised Cambodian citizen in 2011, will compete in the men’s marathon event at the Rio Games, Vath said.

The 39-year-old runner, who has several podium placings to his credit in some of the country’s half marathons and who won the the inaugural 42km run in Siem Reap two years ago, completes the line up of six Cambodian athletes heading to Brazil in August.

His latest success came last month when he won the Kep marathon in a time of 2 hours 44 minutes in a field of 12 runners.

“We are very happy that Cambodia will be represented both in the men’s and women’s marathons for the first time in history,” Vath told the Post yesterday.

“Neko Hiroshi and 42-year old Nary Ly, who is the first female runner from Cambodia to compete in this prestigious event, will be great inspiration for the younger generation.”

Controversy surrounded Hiroshi’s nomination for the 2012 Olympic Games in London by the NOCC. The world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, ruled that Hiroshi was ineligible to represent Cambodia since the stipulated one-year period had not elapsed since he gained Cambodian nationality. Hiroshi is eligible this year under those rules.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of