Cambodia’s Vovinam team touched down in Phnom Penh yesterday morning, arriving home with a grand total of 29 medals from the recently concluded 5th Southeast Asian Championships in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.
Eight countries took part in the six-day regional competition which wrapped up at the weekend; Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, and Cambodia. This year, the Philippines were taking part for the first time as it readies for hosting the 2019 SEA Games.
The kingdom’s athletes captured total 6 gold, 8 silver and 15 bronze medals. On hand to welcome the athletes yesterday were Mr. Bun Sok, President of the National Training Center of the National Olympic Committee and Mr. Ouk Chethak, Director-General of General Department of Sport.
Vovinam is a Vietnamese martial art in which fighters use kicks, grapples, throws and even weapons. Founded by grandmaster Nguyen Loc in 1938. It has an estimated 2 million practitioners in nearly 70 countries. Unlike taekwondo, the Korean martial art, it is not yet recognised as an Olympic sport and as a result receives limited funding.
The sport has flourished in Cambodia in recent years and the kingdom famously finished third in the overall standing at the 2017 World Vovinam Championships in India.
Finishing behind Vietnam and Algeria in the 45-nation competition in New Delhi, India last year, Cambodia captured an unprecedented four gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals for a total of 22 medals.