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Seavmey relinquishes her crown

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Sorn Seavmey is Cambodia’s most celebrated contemporary athlete. Reuters

Cambodia’s 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medallist Sorn Seavmey was eliminated from this years competition in Jakarta yesterday falling 5-3 at the quarter-final stage to Svetlana Osipova of Uzbekistan.

Competing in the Women’s Taekwondo +67 kg Round of 16 on Day three of competition, Seavmey was handed a bye into the Quarter-Finals after Sri Lankan opponent Ranuri W. Wickmanramasinghalage withdrew ahead of their morning round of 16 clash.

Osipova, 18-years old and standing at 182 cm, took an early lead 12 seconds into round one scoring two points with a pinpoint kick to the body. Seavmey, sensing she needed to take advantage of her height, scored a three with a kick to the head in round two and took a narrow lead into the final round.

However, it all unraveled for the 22-year old 30 seconds into the final round, as Osipova again connected with a kick to the body to regain the lead. With time fast running out, a frustrated Seavmey conceded a penalty point deduction 1 minute and 40 seconds into the final round and sealed her fate.

Going into the competition, there were high hope for Seavmey. She won Cambodia’s first gold medal in any discipline at the Asian Games placing first in the middleweight division at the 2014 Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Sorn Seavmey was unable to defend her 2014 Incheon Asian Games title. Reuters

She also has the distinction of being a multiple SEA Games medallist and claimed victory in the middleweight category at the 2016 Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in Manila, Philippines netting her ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

In her post-fight comments, Seavmey was short and to the point. “I would like to apologise to all Cambodian people for not getting the medal.”

Also in action yesterday was Cambodian-American Taekwodoka Casandre Nicole Tubbs. The Texas-born fighter was shaded 18-19 in her Women’s -57 kg Round of 32 opener by Vietnam’s Pham Thi Thu Hien.

Tubbs has previously found success on the taekwondo circuit, winning gold medals at the 2013 US Open and the 2013 German Open, a silver at the 2015 Spanish Open and a bronze at the 2015 Pan American Championships. She is representing the country of her mother’s birth.

Cambodians will continue to fly the flag in Jakarta with 45 athletes participating in 13 sporting disciplines, chosen by the NOCC and the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports earlier this year.

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