Mon, 06 Feb 2023

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- 7,534 professional and amateur athletes from 69 countries and regions took part in the 27th Angkor Wat International Half Marathon on Sunday at the complex of the famed Angkor Archaeological Park in northwest Cambodia.

Japanese-born Cambodian runner Kuniaki Takizaki won the men's race in a time of one hour, 18 minutes and 13 seconds, while the women's trophy went to American athlete Nickel Lindsey, who finished in 1:34:47.

Tourism Minister Thong Khon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), said the participants included 1,720 foreign runners and 5,814 locals.

"Cambodia has become one of the first safe tourist destinations and has provided tourists the best hospitality under the shade of peace, political stability and development," he said in a speech at the start of the race.

The annual race aimed at promoting the Angkor Archaeological Park and the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 when Cambodia is the host, he said, adding that the proceeds from the run would go to local charities, particularly organizations working for landmine victims.

There were also a 10km race, a 5km run and a 3km fun run at the event.

Located in Siem Reap province, the Angkor Archaeological Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992, is the most popular tourist destination in the Southeast Asian country.

The ancient park attracted more than 225,000 foreign visitors in the first 11 months of 2022, earning 9 million U.S. dollars in revenue from ticket sales, according to a government report.

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