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Hiroshi Neko Named to Cambodian National Team for Asian Games

http://mainichi.jp/sports/news/20140623k0000m040092000c.html

translated by Brett Larner

Comedian Hiroshi Neko, 36, has been named to the Cambodian national team for this autumn's Incheon Asian Games in the marathon according to a June 22 press release from his management.  Neko, a Cambodian citizen, holds the all-time second-best Cambodian time of 2:30:26.  The Asian Games will be his third time being named to a Cambodian team for an international championships.  Neko commented, "I will do everything I can in training for the three months until the main event, and I will show everyone my best running there."

The Japanese-born Neko, whose real name is Kuniaki Takizaki, took Cambodian citizenship in 2011.  He was initially named to Cambodia's 2012 London Olympics team, but due to eligibility issues surrounding his transfer of citizenship he was unable to run.

Comments

CK said…
This announcement comes less than 2 weeks after Neko Hiroshi was beaten (yet again) by homegrown native Cambodian, Hem Bunting, in the Phnom Penh Half Marathon (1st Bunting 1:13:22, 2nd Neko 1:14:50). Bunting is the multiple Nat Record holder whose 2:22 Marathon NR in Paris 4/2012 was deemed "not good enough" to get selection for OG 2012, with Neko initially selected in preference. Is there any info regarding whether Bunting has been selected for AG as well ? Typically CAM's team for AG is 1 male and 1 female athlete total. If (once again) the second best runner is being prioritised over the best for a major champs, for whatever reason, then what hope has home-born Ma Viro (3rd in recent Phnom Penh Half Mar in 1:16:08) or any other up-and-coming local CAM distance runner of ever being selected ?

Results from Phnom Penh Half Mar on 15/6/2014 are here:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/sport/local-favourite-frenchwoman-win-half-marathon
Brett Larner said…
I haven't heard anything about Bunting's current situation, but the Cambodian federation does seem to favorite Neko over him.

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