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Kingdom stay on medal hunt

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodia’s Jet Skiers are in action again today. Courtesy Cambodia Water Sports Federation

While medals remain painfully absent, Cambodia continue to persevere in their hunt for silverware as week one of the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games in Indonesia draws to a close this weekend.

The kingdom’s Jet-Skiing duo, Ou Moeut Saly and Mustan Min gave an inspired performance yesterday at Ancol Beach, Jakarta. Competing in all four events – Endurance runabout open, Runabout 1100 stock, Runabout limited, and Ski modified – the sport is making its debut at the games this year, having been part of the Asian Beach Games since 2008.

After a decent Moto 1 and 2 performance which saw the pair return solid results against a tough field of competitors, the duo will contest Moto 3 and 4 medal rounds of the Runabout Limited this afternoon, with the other finals set for the weekend.

In the pool, Cambodia’s Sok Voleak will be disappointed by her Women’s 50m Breast stroke finish. She finished seventh out of eight competitors in the heats with a time of 36 seconds.

Today’s highlight is Sailing as members of the kingdom’s team prepare for their 2018 Asian Games debut in Jakarta Bay.

The best chance of a podium for Cambodia will come from Mesa Soth. The 16-year old was a medallist in April’s Malaysian Johor International Regatta 2018 and will be eager to repeat the feat in the Men’s RS:X event at the Asian Games. Experienced Duch Bunthuoen is competing in the Laser Standard event, while youngster Chan Nhov rounds off Cambodia’s entrants.

Sailing has seen a surge in Cambodia in recent years and visibility of Cambodians at the Asian Games will do much to further popularise the sport. The kingdom’s Sailing Federation received official recognition by the World Sailing body last July, the world governing body for the sport which is accredited by the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee, providing a boost to the kingdom’s nascent sailing community.

Cambodia’s first sailing club, at the Knai Bang Chatt resort in Kep town’s Prey Thom commune, was officially launched in April 2017. Its introduction is aimed at engaging youth with aspirations to be part of the 32nd Phnom Penh SEA Games in 2023.

Thong Khon, the Tourism Minister and President of the NOCC, has encouraged more Cambodians to participate in the eco-friendly sport, which is still very much in its infancy in Cambodia.

“Sailing has a lot of benefits as a sailing boat is not a machine which runs on gasoline, but is based on nature. That is the pride of our nation to have this kind of sport,” he said.

Other sports with Cambodian participation today include Ju Jitsu with the kingdom’s representatives Vivaddhana Khaou and Jessa Khan aiming for a podium place.

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