Runners celebrate Pursat’s annual road-race Pursat held its 7th annual open road-race, the ‘Pursat River Run’ on Sunday, which attracted 779 runners from schools, companies and NGOs in Pursat, as well as runners from Phnom Penh. The two main races were a 5k and a 10k, with additional races for disabled people. The cool conditions led to fast times, with race records being set in the 5k race for both the men’s and the women’s events: Kieng Samorn won the men’s race in 18:03 and Heng Mengchu won the women’s race in 22:01. Both were Phnom Penh-based runners, Kieng Samorn being a member of the national athletics squad. His fellow athletics squad-member Ma Viro came home with the honours in the men’s 10k race in a time of 34:13. Expatriate women dominated the 10k women’s race with Véronique Messina the winner in 43:38. As with previous years, the race was organised by the Pursat Sport Office. Co-race organiser Steve Harknett, from the UK, explained that the event aimed to develop athletics both at the elite end of the sport and at grassroots level. ‘We’ve had quite a few athletes from the national athletics and triathlon teams take part this year, as well as hundreds of kids from rural schools around Pursat,’ he explained. ‘The event has helped to identify some new running talent in Pursat, such as Koch Sambo, a student from Krakor who came 4th in the 10k just behind national-level athletes.’

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