The team from the Ministry of National Defense (MND) lorded it over the competition to top the 2020 National Sepak Takraw Championship.
The MND team outmatched and dethroned the Ministry of Interior (MOI), which won the same tournament last year.
The MND team emerged as the overall champion after beating the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) Center team in the Men’s 3-on-3 during the last day of the competition.
The 2020 National Sepak Takraw Championship was held from Jan 8 to 9 at the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.
The national championship, which is held every year, is part of the effort to promote and develop sepak takraw in the Kingdom. It also serves as the venue for the selection of national team players.
The MND Men’s team won the first set, 21-12. The RCAF side did better in the second set, but still lost, 21-13.
Before the title match in the Men’s 3-on-3, the MND team already bagged two second-place finishes in the Women’s 2-on-2 and Men’s 2-on-2 categories.
The RCAF Center team placed second overall, with a title to show in the Women’s 2-on-2 and a runner-up finish in the Men’s 3-on-3. The RCAF side also won the third place in the Men’s 2-on-2 category.
Third place went to MOI. The MOI team took the first spot in the Men’s 2-on-2 division. Last year, the MOI team had two first-place finishes.
Because of the current health situation, the Cambodian Sepak Takraw and Chinlone Federation (CSTCF) limited the number of participants this year.
Less than 10 teams, including several private clubs, participated in the 2020 National Sepak Takraw Championship. The schedule was also moved due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, there were more than 100 players from 10 clubs that participated in the tournament.
In his message during the occasion, Meas Sarin, president of CSTCF, thanked the ministries, clubs and other organisations that helped them organise the two-day event.
Meas added by congratulating the winning teams and athletes. “They won because of hard work, discipline and perseverance,” he stressed.
The CSTCF is making the extra effort to promote and develop the sport, with Cambodia among the emerging powerhouses in sepak takraw in Southeast Asia.
The Cambodian Men’s sepak takraw team won a gold medal in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia and placed second in the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines. Cambodia is eyeing a better finish in sepak takraw in the 2023 SEA Games.