Indonesia double at SEA Games’ Angkor Wat marathon

INDONESIA took gold on both the men’s and women’s marathons Saturday, as the Southeast Asian Games took over Cambodia’s ancient royal enclave of Angkor Wat.

It may not have the star power of a World Championships or the illustriousness of the Olympics, but the SEA Games may boast the best marathon backdrop.

Far from the main host city of capital Phnom Penh, the sprawling temple complex of Angkor Wat — former capital of the Khmer Empire — was the venue for the marathon and 20-kilometre (12.4-mile) walk events.

The starting gun fired just after sunrise. Runners powered past ancient temples and stupas and through weathered arches before finishing in front of the famed main temple, an image so important to Cambodians that it appears in the national flag.

On the first day of the Games’ full schedule, Indonesia’s Agus Prayogo won the men’s marathon in a time of 2:32:59 — his country’s first gold of the 2023 event — while Arlan Estobo Arbois of the Philippines took silver and Nguyen Thanh Hoang took bronze.

The women’s event winner was also Indonesian, with Odekta Elvina Naibaho finishing in 2:48:14. Thi Tuyet Le from Vietnam was just over a minute behind her to claim silver, while bronze went to Christine Organiza Hallasgo of the Philippines.

The SEA Games runs until May 17. — AFP