Amputee Competes in Marathon Finishes Marathon

A former Khmer Rouge sol­dier who lost his foot to a land mine has become the first Cam­bod­ian amputee to complete a mar­athon, said Chris Min­ko, an adviser to the National Para­ol­ympic Committee of Cam­bodia.

Nok Rotha, 32, competed Jan 1 in the New Zealand Millennium Marathon in Hamilton City, about 130 km from Auckland. He finished in 6:04:58, coming in 1,612th in a field of 1,693 able and disabled runners and first out of two amputees competing.

“It’s absolutely stunning,” said Minko. “It shows we’ll have a good paraolympic team for Syd­ney [in September] and shows once and for all the ability of people with disabilities in Cam­bodia.”

Nov Samnang, a 33-year-old former Funcinpec soldier who was disabled in combat in 1989, competed in the wheelchair marathon coming in 6th out of a field of nine with a time of 3:03:34.

Nok Rotha won two bronze medals in the 100m relay and 800m sprint at the Far East and South Pacific Games for the Disabled last year. Nov Samnang was the captain of the basketball team for the games, although the team did not bring home any medals. He works as a wheelchair trainer for Veterans Inter­national.

The New Zealand Millennium Marathon was the first marathon of the new century and attracted runners from more than 40 countries, according to the organizers’ website.


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