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Gymnastics Federation: Working very hard ‘to fill the gaps’

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh (centre) and other sports officials visit the facilities used by the Cambodian Gymnastics Federation. KT/Yeun Punleau

With the 2023 Southeast Asian Games less than three years away, the Cambodian Gymnastics Federation (CGF) is working very hard ‘to fill the gaps’ as it looks to do well in the region’s largest sports event.

Noy Phanna, the secretary-general of the CGF, said there are still many things they need to work on and improve.

Foremost among them, according to him, is the need for additional human resources, more training, foreign exposure and international-standard facilities.

“The president is always pointing out new strategies that will allow the Federation to move forward,” he said, referring to Tourism Minister Thong Khon, who is also the head of the CGF.

Two weeks ago, Deputy Prime Minister Tea Banh, top sports officials and others went around the Olympic Stadium to check on the sports facilities there. One of the places they visited was the gymnasium used by Cambodian gymnasts.

Noy said they have laid clear plans to develop the abilities of athletes with an eye towards international competitions, including the the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam and 2023 SEA Games, which Cambodia will host for the first time.

Cambodia has started joining international gymnastics competitions in the last few years. The Kingdom was represented in gymnastics in both the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines. Gymnasts Sor Sopheng, Choeun Chanbory, and Sor Sokim represented Cambodia in the 2016 FIG Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships in South Korea.

These plans, according to him, include bringing in foreign trainors and sending more Cambodian gymnasts to train abroad.

Noy said they will send more of their athletes to China for long-term  training once the COVID-19 problem subsides.

In 2017, the CGF sent gymnast Sam Sarin to train in China, followed a year later by Chhoeun Sokdong, who went to train in the Chinese city of Nanning ahead of the 2018 Asian Games.

Last year, two gymnasts, including Vey Pheaktra, trained in China ahead of the 2019 SEA Games.

“Training abroad will help sharpen their abilities towards reaching a certain level where they can win medals in the Southeast Asian Games,” Noy said. “They have better equipment and training facilities there, so overseas training is necessary for us.”

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