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Boonchu, Sunisa set for finale

Boonchu Jandecha and Sunisa Sailomyen will lead Thailand's challenge in the fourth and final leg of the gruelling Greatest Race on Earth (GROE), which will be held alongside the Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday.

Published on February 14, 2008

The GROE featured four legs, with marathoners representing 53 teams from 33 countries vying for prize money of US$100,000. The first leg was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on October 28, with the second leg taking place in Singapore on December 2 and the third in Mumbai, India, on January 20.

After three legs, Kenya 'B' lead both the men's and women's categories. Their men's team has set the pace by clocking an aggregate time of six hours, 51.13 minutes, while their women's side has registered a combined 8:08.00 hours.

Trailing in second and third places in the men's event are Kenya 'A' and Uganda, while Kenya 'A' and China are on the heels of Kenya 'B' heels in the women's category.

The men's team is represented by Amnuay Tongmit, Sutat Kallyanakitti, Koday Senmood and Boonchu, while the women's team comprises Ketmanee Senaphan, Apassara Prasathinpimai, Pacharee Chaitongsi and Sunisa.

The men's team are trailing in 17th place, but are second to Vietnam among the South East Asian nations with an aggregate time of 8:16.17 hours. Their women's team have fared much better, with Pacharee producing a fantastic run in Mumbai.

The pint-sized runner overcame a foot injury at the halfway mark to cross the finish line sixth among all GROE female competitors, but second to China in Asia and first in the SEA region. The Thai women's team are in seventh place overall.

With just two days remaining before the kick-off of the final leg in Hong Kong, Boonchu and Sunisa are prepared for the final challenge. With the experience of having run the Hong Kong Marathon, former SEA Games winner Boonchu, though hindered by injury, is determined to produce his best. "I'll do my best. The route is not that tough. I think I can clock a good time in Hong Kong," he said.

Sunisa, who made history by becoming the first Thai woman to win the SEA Games marathon gold, is also fresh from winning the Khon Kaen race last month.

Preechachan  Wiriyanupappong

The Nation

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