Soaked Cambodian runner gets $10,000 bonus from PM

By AFP   May 11, 2023 | 01:12 am PT
Soaked Cambodian runner gets $10,000 bonus from PM
Bou Samnang tries to finish her run under the rain at the 5,000 m event of SEA Games 32 on May 8, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
A Cambodian runner who captured hearts with a spirited last-placed finish in heavy rain was awarded $10,000 by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday.

The Cambodian leader said he was rewarding Southeast Asian Games athlete Bou Samnang "to encourage perseverance."

A soaked Bou Samnang broke down in tears after crossing the finish line in the 5,000m all alone on Monday nearly six minutes after the race winner.

Her resolve made her the toast of Games host Cambodia and footage of her wet, lonely run to the line was shown at home and overseas.

Hun Sen, currently attending a regional summit in Indonesia, added to the outpouring of admiration.

"The interesting story is that runner Bou Samnang ran in the rain until the finishing line although she did not place (in the medals)," he wrote in a statement.

"To encourage perseverance, I and my wife donate $10,000 to her."

The average worker earns about $10 a day in Cambodia.

The SEA Games in the capital Phnom Penh end on May 17.

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