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. Sreng Meng Srun

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

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National