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Blind runner to compete in Siem Reap half marathon.

A blind Khmer woman will run against 4,000 competitors in the Angkor Wat Half Marathon to raise awareness of International Day of People with Disabilities.

Yin Sot, 20, will run the 21.1km course with the aid of her trainer who will be tied to her.

Sot lost her eyesight at the age of 10 but is determined to complete the gruelling race to promote the 'Equal Opportunities' theme on International Day of People with Disabilities.

'I want people to see my ability, and not judge me on my disability. I felt really helpless after I lost my eyesight, but I have since learned never to give up if I want to succeed at something,' she said.

Sot trains twice a day for the half-marathon, which will be held on December 2. It will be the longest distance she has ever run.

Like all blind people, Sot lives in a world of darkness, but her feat will bring a ray of hope to persons with disabilities.

She said she received extra encouragement from Cambodia's 2014 Asian Games gold medallist, Sorn Seavmey, who visited her last week, before flying to Jakarta to defend her taekwondo title.

Seavmey said Sot is very brave to run such a long distance in an event featuring up to 4,000 competitors.

'I think it would be like running at top speed in a dark tunnel, and just praying not to fall over or to run into something or someone,' she said.

Seavmey has held the spotlight of the Kingdom's sporting world as gold medal was the first won by a Cambodian in seven decades.

Telling her story

The Cambodian Disabled Peoples Organization said as many as two million Cambodians have a physical or mental disability.

'Persons with disabilities in Cambodia face multiple challenges such as inequality, poverty and discrimination,' it said.

Sot will tell her story (in Khmer) on VPD Radio's daily social inclusion program, live on https://www.faceboom.con/VPDRadio/ from l0am to 11am on Monday.

She is an employee of the Voice of People with Disabilities radio station and is currently training for selection for the SEA Games. Sot hails from Svay Rieng province.

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Publication:The Phnom Penh Post (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Date:Aug 13, 2018
Words:431
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