Everyone at the Embassy would like to send our congratulations to Dr. Nary Ly for her first place win at the Phnom Penh International Half Marathon this past weekend! Dr. Nary works at the Naval Medical Research Unit-2 detachment based here in Phnom Penh as a Research Scientist. Nary is an inspiration for female athletes throughout Cambodia and the world.
A survivor of the Pol Pot regime, Nary was sent to France at a young age. She went on to receive her Ph.D from Bordeaux University, France in 2006. The following year she went to New York to do her post-doctorate at the Immunology Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. During that time her love of running grew and she was able to run her first full marathon at the famous ING New York City Marathon in 2009. The pioneer Cambodian female running long distance competitively, she spent the following years cutting down her time and perfecting her skill.
From January 7th until the Paris Marathon on April 15, Nary was running in Kenya with some of the best runners in the world. She wrote, “This journey is my only one chance to get qualified for the Olympics, if I can run under 2 hours and 43 minutes. This is a big challenge and would be my greatest personal record. For sure, these coming 4 months will not be all easy days, but it will be a victory for myself and for Cambodian sports if first, I survive the Kenya training and get somewhere close to the 2 hours 43 minutes.”
Nary is a national hero and I commend her for her hard work and dedication. All of us at the Embassy hope she continues to run and inspire other young Khmer women to do the same. While Nary has not been chosen to attend the Olympics for Cambodia, we wish our best to those who have. Best of luck to: Chan Seyha (f)- 200m sprint, Sorn Davin (f)- taekwondo, Kieng Samorn (m)- 800m middle-distance run, Khom Ratanakmony (m)- judo, and Hem Thon Vitiny (f) and Hem Thon Ponleu (m) in short-distance swimming. We will be following along as you pursue your dreams!