• Kyodo

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Japanese runners swept the full and half marathon races in both the male and female categories at the second Angkor Empire Marathon in Cambodia on Sunday.

Koki Kawauchi, 22, was the first to complete the full marathon at the Angkor Wat Temple complex in a time of 2 hours, 36 minutes, 57 seconds, followed by defending champion Hiroshi Neko, a Japan-born comedian who became a naturalized Cambodian in 2011. Third place went to Cambodian Ma Viro.

Among female contestants, Sakie Ishibashi won the full race at 2:59:09, ahead of a South African and an Australian.

For the half marathon, Chikara Yanada took first place among men at 1:20:59, while a Japanese compatriot won the women’s race.

More than 2,700 runners from 48 countries took part in this year’s event, according to Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia. Of them, 1,458 were foreign nationals.

Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon, who presided over the races, said the event was not only aimed at attracting more foreign tourists to Cambodia but also to raise funds for Cambodian children who need medical care and for the Cambodian Red Cross.

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