Best Practice

Four days to go to Olympic Day - Rio 2016 Hopefuls lead Olympic Day Run in Cambodia

19 | 6 | 2016

Rio 2016 athletes Takisaki Kiniaki and Chov Sotheara have led Cambodia’s Olympic Day celebrations, taking part in a festival of running in Phnom Penh on June 12 to mark the Olympic Movement’s special day.

Marathon runner Kiniaki and freestyle wrestler Sotheara, who have both earned wildcards to compete in their respective events for Olympic Games Rio 2016 later this year, joined a record 5000+ runners from 35 countries in a series of races in the nation’s capital.

The main event on the day was the 6th Phnom Penh International Half Marathon, while the addition of a ten kilometre race and three kilometre fun run ensured runners of all ages and abilities could join in the occasion. The showpiece event, which also celebrates the birthday of Cambodia’s Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk and World Environment Day, is one of the highlights of the annual sporting calendar in Cambodia. 

The south-east Asian nation, which traditionally fields a small Olympic team, has so far earned six places for Rio 2016. Vath Chamroeun, Chairman of the National Olympians Association and Secretary General of the Cambodia Olympic Committee said it is vital to ensure their Olympians continue to use their status as role models in society to promote Olympic Values and the importance of participation to the next generation.

“We are delighted that so many people turned out to celebrate Olympic Day with us this year. Participation far exceeded our expectations and it is heartening to see the event grow in size and stature every year, particularly amongst local competitive runners. We remain hopeful that we can expand the format to include a full marathon in the near future”, said Vath Chamroeun.

“The inclusion of Olympians in our events makes a significant difference to our ability to promote sport within Cambodia and ensure our communities remain active and engaged with the Olympic Movement. Being an Olympian is the pinnacle of an athlete’s career and is something to be celebrated so it was great to have Takisaki Kiniaki and Chov Sotheara take time out of their busy training schedule to join us. It is an incredible achievement to be selected as an Olympic athlete for Olympic Games Rio 2016 and we wish them all the best in the months to come.”

Olympic Day, celebrated around the world on June 23, is a day for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to come together to get active, discover new sports and learn about the Olympic Values of friendship, excellence and respect.

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