Swimmers from around Cambodia converged at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium yesterday to contest the Sar Kheng swimming awards. The competition – now in its fifth edition – draws amateur, professional, and disabled swimmers in 17 disciplines.
Hem Kiri, Secretary General of the Federation, said that the competition was organised by the Khmer Swimming Federation under the auspices of Sar Kheng – Minister of Interior – with 87 athletes taking part.
The event – sponsored by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng – saw support from other ministries and government bodies including the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Planning and Transport, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Information, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, and others.
Lieutenant General Chea Bunheng, head of the Sporting Department at the Ministry of Interior and Vice President of the Khmer Swimming Federation, was on hand to award medals to winners.
The awards come on heels of the announcement that Cambodia will host the 43rd South East Asian Age Group Swimming Championships in 2019.
In a statement announcing the decision, Jeffrey Leow, President of the South East Asian Swimming Federation, said that the competition aimed to “…encourage friendly competition and sharing of knowledge between young swimmers in the region. It has since become the major development meet for young athletes.”
This year’s competition was held in July in the Philippines. Vietnam topped the medal table with 119, almost double that of second-placed Thailand. Cambodia failed to register a medal.
The 2019 Phnom Penh edition is pegged for a 28th June, 2019 start date and the newly completed Indoor Swimming and Aquatics Center located at the Morodok Techo National Sports Complex looks to be the most suitable venue – although this is yet to be confirmed.
The Khmer Swimming Federation is also preparing to send selected athletes to Japan for a short training course in the coming days.
Kiry said that 21 members, including coaches, would depart for the technical training sessions in Tokyo and another Japanese city.