Cambodia’s Soft Tennis Federation intends to send athletes on a six-month training sojourn abroad ahead of the 2019 Manila SEA Games in the Philippines.
Chea Bunheng, First Vice President of the Federation, speaking on the sidelines of the recently concluded national championships said foreign training is vital in improving the skill and technique of national team players.
“I think from now until the SEA Games in the Philippines we will improve, he said. “Because after the Khmer New Year at the end of April we will send at least seven players for training in Japan for six months,”.
Mr. Bunheng claimed that local training was limited in scope and would only allow the athletes limited ability to grow. Training abroad could help them reach their peak he observed.
“That is why the federation will send athletes for training abroad. For training in Japan, expenses will be covered by the Federation,” he added.
Last June, Cambodia made use of a Japan training camp. It was reported the Cambodian Soft Tennis Federation shelled out $12,000 for accommodation, catering, and training as well as a further $4,500 on travel costs.
In addition to the SEA Games, the Federation is also preparing for participation in major regional and international competitions.
In August, Cambodia will host the Southeast Asia Championships with seven countries confirmed to attend. Additionally, the Federation will send athletes to the World Championships in China, Asian Championships in the Philippines, and University Championships also in the Philippines.
At the 2019 National Championships, the Ministry of Interior ranked in first with 4 Gold, 4 silver and 9 bronze Medals. The Ministry of National Defense registered in second place while National Police Commissary claimed third. This year’s competition saw 80 athletes from seven take part.
Cambodian Soft Tennis athletes has shown great strides in recent years. They brought back seven medals from last year’s 4th Agel World Tour Asian Soft Tennis Championships in Pattaya.
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.
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.