Cambodia tallied 46 medals overall in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines for its second best performance since rejoining the region’s premier sporting event in 1995.
The 2019 SEA Games concluded yesterday with the Philippines on top with 385 medals (149 gold, 117 silver and 119 bronze). Rounding up the top five are Vietnam with 285 medals (96 gold, 85 silver and 104 bronze), Thailand with 316 medals (92 gold, 102 silver and 122 bronze), Indonesia with 266 medals (72 gold, 83 silver and 111 bronze) and Malaysia with 184 medals (55 gold, 58 silver and 71 bronxe). East Timor, with only six medals (one silver and five bronze), placed last.
Cambodia placed eight out of 11 participating countries. The Kingdom’s 46 medals include four gold, six silver and 36 bronze.
Cambodia won medals in boxing, sepak takraw, kickboxing, muay thai, petanque, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu and arnis.
Cambodia sent more than 400 athletes for this year’s SEA Games. The Kingdom did have an entry in many of the disciplines, including boxing, beach volleyball, swimming, fencing, muay thai, dancesports, indoor volleyball, 3X3 basketball, 5X5 basketball, baseball, indoor hockey, arnis, badminton, table tennis, soft tennis, lawn tennis, petanque, football, kickboxing, cycling, sepak takraw, e-sports, sailing, traditional boat racing, kayaking, canoeing, gymnastics, triathlon, duathlon, karatedo, and athletics.
Cambodia’s good showing in this year’s SEA Games validated the optimism of many sports officials.
These officials, including Vath Chamroeun, the secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, based their optimism on better training and preparation for the Cambodian delegation. It was noted that many of Cambodia’s athletes that competed in Manila also trained abroad.
Cambodia latest SEA Games performance also made up for its dismal showing two years ago in Malaysia.
Cambodia only won 17 medals (three gold, two silver and 12 bronze) in the 2017 SEA Games.
Cambodia best performance so far since 1995 was in the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar. That year, Cambodia harvested a total of 47 medals, including eight gold, 11 silver and 28 bronze medals.
Cambodia also did well in the 2009 SEA Games in Laos (40 medals, including three gold, 10 silver and 27 bronze) and 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, where it won 39 medals (four gold, 11 silver and 24 bronze).
The Kingdom first joined the SEA Games (then known as Southeast Asian Peninsular Games) in 1961. It was present in a few more Games before being a no-show for more than two decades due to a long-running Civil War.
Before Cambodia descended into Civil War it was among the sporting powers in Southeast Asia.
Cambodia, then known as the Khmer Republic, placed fifth overall with 53 medals (17 gold, 17 silver and 18 bronze) in the 1971 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games, a showing that has never been equaled or surpassed.
The SEA Games is held every two years, with hosting rights rotating among participating countries.