No retreat, no surrender

Mar 21, 2022

Neang Pich Piseth has no qualms in going all out. He is prepared to expand all of his energy, strength and determination to excel in his chosen sport.

So much so that he even passed out while competing at home early in his triathlete career. Piseth said that he went into the competition without much training and just pushed beyond his limits without thinking of the consequences.

Despite being almost a decade older now, Piseth has not let that moment of ignominy stall his progress nor to change his attitude towards the sport.

“I am still pushing myself too hard, I want to be better every time I race, said the national triathlon champion.

Last December, he won the national title in Kep, winning the sprint triathlon that consists of a 750-m open water swim followed a 20-km bicycle race and rounded up by a 5-km run.

The 28-year-old Piseth has been virtually untouchable in the triathlon at home since he lifted the title for the first time in 2014. The only blemish in his illustrious national career was a second-place finish in 2018.

It was a dismal outing for the Phnom Penh born triathlete, despite the fact that his loss had nothing to do with his own capability. He was denied the chance to win the title after being delayed by a VIP entourage.

“I could have won the title, but during the cycling leg of the race, some of us got caught in traffic,” said the bemused Piseth.

By the time they resumed the race it was too late to catch up with the leader.

Piseth is expected to lead Cambodia’s challenge at the Hanoi SEA Games this May, where he will up against the likes of defending champion John Leerams “Rambo” Chicano of the Philippines.

“My only wish is to win a bronze. I will still push as hard as I can,” said Piseth, who is married with a five-year-old son.

Piseth, who is employed with Ministry of Interior, however, does not have to worry about missing his family. As the national training camp is in Kep, the venue for Cambodia SEA Games, Piseth has taken the initiative to shift his family from Phnom Penh to Kep.

The national team resumed training in Kep in December, ahead of the 2021 SEA Games after previously training at the Morodok Techo Sports Complex in Phnom Penh.

While the trip to Hanoi will give the Cambodian team a chance to assess their current form and their rivals’, their main target remains to be the 32nd SEA Games at home from May 5-17 next year.

Cambodia has never won a medal in triathlon in the SEA Games. The Kingdom was represented in triathlon in the 2015 (Singapore), 2017 (Malaysia) and 2019 SEA Games.

“The pandemic had derailed much of our training sessions for the past one year. Most of the time we have been confined to the training centre where even cycling had only be on the rollers,” added Piseth.

But, with training back to norm, he hopes to quickly regain his top form and improve on it.

Rest assured, this ironman will not hesitate to push even harder.

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