National Games enters its final day

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Participants line up ahead of the Mountain Biking relay race at Bokor Mountain. MoEYS

Cambodia’s 2nd National Games reaches its crescendo tomorrow in what is set to be a spectacular closing ceremony for the biennial national sporting showpiece.

The Games organisers promised spectators in Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium are set to witness an amazing closing ceremony when the curtain comes down after 11 days of competition.

The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports (MoEYS) allotted 5,000 performers to take part in the opening ceremony late last month in a ceremony which featured performances ranging from the traditional Apsara and Bokator, to acrobatics, taekwon-do, and a grand military parade.

Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) speaking to reporters at the sidelines of the opening ceremony, said the Committee had spent around $200,000 on fireworks for the curtain raiser.

It was reported organisers had earmarked $600,000 for the opening and closing ceremonies in addition to the $1.5 million budgeted for the Games itself.

The Cambodian Gymnastics Federation is gearing up to compete in international competition. KT / Yeun Punlue

The weekend sporting highlights at the Games included Saturday morning’s Mountain Bike team relay race which took in Bokor Mountain in Kampot Province, Bokator – Cambodia’s national martial art – was also a main draw, while Baseball in Kompong Thom province provided a unique draw for spectators.

As of yesterday, Ministry of Interior continue to top the medal tally registering a haul of 117 medals (65 Gold, 32 Silver, and 20 Bronze). Barring a late surge on the final day, Phnom Penh will settle for second position after tallying a total of 106 medals.

At the inaugural Games in 2016, Phnom Penh dominated the podium with a haul of 102 medals; 41 gold, 34 silver and 27 bronze. The capital looks to be dethroned after a strong performance by the MoI this year.

4,163 athletes are competing in 27 disciplines for some 284 gold, 584 silver and 703 bronze medals on behalf of their provinces.

With interest in sport at a high following the exploits of the Cambodian national football team – finalists at Brunei’s recent Hassanal Bolkiah Youth Championships, medals at international events in Taekwondo, Vovinam, and Karate, as well as the impending Jakarta Asian Games, the sporting authorities of Cambodia hope the National Games can serve to help aid the development of the kingdom’s budding young athletes.

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