Cambodia’s Soft Tennis Federation held its General Assembly at the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia headquarters on Friday, concluding its first mandate (2014-2018).
For the new mandate which will span 2018-2022, the federation said it plans to ramp up training to enable the kingdom to participate in major international competitions.
The federation also said sending athletes abroad for training would be necessary as they prepare for the impending 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, the 29th 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines and 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia.
Government minister Sar Kheng, known as an admirer of the fledgling sport, was announced as president of the federation, while Chea Bunheng maintained his role as first vice-president of the second mandate 2018-2022.
The Cambodian team, led by vice-president Bunheng who is also the president of the Ministry of Interior’s sports department, said the government wanted to increase participation in the little-known racquet sport.
Soft tennis has most of the same rules as regular tennis, although the lesser known equivalent utilises soft rubber balls instead of the hard yellow balls in regular tennis. It is played primarily in Asia, with Japan regarded as the strongest nation.
Cambodia’s soft tennis team hit international headlines for the wrong reasons in 2014 after female player Yi Sophany, then aged 19, was sent home from the Incheon Asian Games.
Sophany’s pre-competition sample had tested positive for the banned substance Sibutramine – an appetite suppressant found in numerous dietary supplements.
Ms Sophany believed that Sting, an energy drink popular in Cambodia, was to blame after conceding she drank up to four cans a day.