Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Paralympian Thin Seng Hong effort commended

Paralympian Thin Seng Hong effort commended

Paralympian Thin Seng Hong effort commended

120903_26a

National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia General Secretary Yi Veasna (F) said they had expected sprinter Thin Seng Hong (R) to struggle to compete in London. Photograph: Yeun Ponlok/Phnom Penh Post

National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia General Secretary Yi Veasna (F) said they had expected sprinter Thin Seng Hong (R) to struggle to compete in London. Photograph: Yeun Ponlok/Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s Thin Seng Hong was humbled by her inaugural appearance at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London on Saturday night, as she failed to set a new personal best on the track of the Olympic Stadium during her heat in the women’s 100 metres T44 class competition.

The Kampong Cham sprinter’s time of 17.35 seconds was the fastest she’d run this season, but fell 22 hundredths of a second outside her record run last year at the ASEAN ParaGames in Indonesia where she took the silver medal.

Thin Seng Hong struggled to match the pace of her five other well conditioned rivals, coming home last and almost two and a half seconds from the fifth place finisher. Dutch runner Marlou van Rhijn won the heat in 13.27 seconds, equaling the world record of April Holmes of the US who finished just behind her to qualify for this morning’s final, slated for 3:33am Cambodian time. France’s Marie-Amelie le Fur won Saturday’s other women’s 100-metre T44 heat with a time of 13.40.

The T44 class features athletes with one unilateral below knee amputation or equivalent. Thin Seng Hong, 26, lost her right leg after stepping on an anti-personal mine when she was 10 years old.

Yi Veasna, executive director of the National Centre of Disabled Persons and general secretary of the National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia who is leading the delegation in London, said he had expected the race to pan out the way it did.

“We knew Thin Seng Hong had a lower standard than most of the other competitors because she came here on a Universality wildcard [granted by the International Paralympic Committee],” he told the Post yesterday.

“This was her first time at this level. She faced the best in the world. But I saw that she tried so hard in the event and during her training every day. She respected her preparations, including following a strict diet.”

According to the General Secretary, Cambodia’s Ambassador to the UK Hor Nam Bora invited the delegates to visit the Cambodian Embassy in Willesden, West London, and also helped arrange Cambodian students living in the city to attend the race and wave flags in support.

Thin Seng Hong now looks ahead to her last chance of glory for the Kingdom when she reappears in front of another capacity crowd of 80,000 at the spectacular Olympic Stadium on Wednesday for the women’s 200-metre T44 event.

“We know we will have a similar result [with her coming last], but we will do our best to encourage her,” added Yi Veasna, who was impressed by the technology, administration and transport available at the 2012 Paralympics compared to previous Games.

With Thin Seng Hong’s heat on Wednesday scheduled at a more practical start time of 5:03pm in the afternoon here, British Ambassador Mark Gooding has joined forces with his American counterpart William E Todd to host a viewing party in the grounds of the US Embassy next to Wat Phnom.

According to a press release issued on Friday by the US Embassy, through the support of Veterans International Cambodia, the Disability Action Council, the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation and Handicap International, invited guests will include land mine victims and disabled persons to demonstrate the bridging of differences and acceptance of people with disabilities.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dan Riley at [email protected]
Ung Chamroeun at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Gov’t approves $9B worth of building projects in 2019

    The government has approved more than $9 billion this year for capital investment in the construction sector, a nearly 80 per cent increase on last year, with most of the growth coming from projects in Sihanoukville, according to Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea

  • PP residents urged to use public transport

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has urged Phnom Penh residents to use the capital’s existing public transport services rather than private vehicles, as it is leading to increased traffic congestion. He also called for the city’s public bus system to

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Sierra Leone potential new market for export of Cambodian milled rice

    Sierra Leone plans to import milled rice from Cambodia for domestic consumption. The request was made when the visiting Sierra Leone Ambassador to China Ernest Ndomahina met Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak on Wednesday at the ministry. Ndomahina said his country’s agricultural sector