The South Korean Embassy in Phnom Penh announced yesterday it had donated Taekwondo uniforms for use in the opening ceremony of the National Games which will get underway later this month.
The presentation was made by Mr. Oh Nak-young, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Kingdom of Cambodia, who handed over 800 of the uniforms valued at about $20,000 in a ceremony at the embassy yesterday.
Also in attendance at the handover ceremony were Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS), and who also serves as President of the Taekwondo Federation of Cambodia. He was joined by Kim Sethany, Secretary of State at the MoEYS, Hem Samnang, Secretary General of the Cambodia Taekwondo Federation and South Korean coach of the Cambodian national team Choi Yung Suk. Sorn Seavmey, an Incheon Asian Games 2014 gold medallist in Taekwondo and the kingdom’s best chance for medals at the August Asian Games, was also in attendance.
Ambassador Nak-young expressed his great pleasure that the Taekwondo competition would be integrated into a major sporting event in Cambodia.
The uniforms, sponsored by the World Taekwondo Peace Corps, are set to be used in the Taekwondo performance at the opening ceremony of the second National Games, which will begin in the Cambodian capital on Friday, May 25.
Reports in March suggested the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia had budgeted around $600,000 for the opening and closing ceremonies.
The biennial games are expected to be better organised according to coordinators tasked with planning the event. The Ministry had earlier reported it had allocated budgets for 34 national sports federations across Cambodia for 2018.
The 2016 event, the kingdom’s first national sporting competition, was heralded a resounding success. More than 2,700 athletes from across the kingdom competed on behalf of their provinces in 15 sporting disciplines.
The South Korean Embassy said it hoped that the handover of Taekwondo uniforms and performances at the National Games would promote the sport of Taekwondo to the wider community and serve as a driving force for cultural exchange.
After the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations in 1997, the relationship between the two has rapidly strengthened. Trade value between the two countries exceeded over $860 million last year, while by latest estimates, 175 Korean companies are invested in Cambodia. Almost 250,000 Koreans visit Cambodia each year, while an estimated 5,000 Koreans reside in the kingdom. Nearly 6,500 Cambodian workers are employed in Korea.