Neko Hiroshi applies for Cambodian citizenship for a shot at 2012 Olympics

June 22, 2011 @ 6:01 pm
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[caption id="attachment_162814" align="aligncenter" width="451" caption="Neko Hiroshi (left) will have to beat Cambodian runner Hem Bunting (right) for a spot at the Olympics"][/caption]

Comedian Neko Hiroshi (33) has applied for a Cambodian citizenship in hopes of representing the country at the 2012 London Olympics as a marathon runner.

On June 21st, he revealed that he submitted the application in February. It is expected to be approved in time for the South Asian Games held in November, where the Olympic representatives will be selected.

Cambodia is allowed to send one athlete for the men's marathon event at the Olympics. Neko will have to either beat the Cambodian runner Hem Bunting, whose best time is 2 hour 26 minutes, or go under a time of 2 hours 15 minutes.

Neko, who recently came in second place at an international half marathon behind Bunting, holds a best time of 2 hours 37 minutes 43 seconds for a full marathon. However, he commented confidently, "It's been four years since I started (running) marathons, and I've improved my time by 20 minutes every year, so I'm sure I can beat Bunting and become an Olympic representative."

The president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia has said, "Neko is like a hot pepper; he's small but strong. I hope he becomes a model for Cambodian athletes."

Source + Photo: Sanspo


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