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Vovinam squad return with medal haul

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Cambodia’s Vovinam team display their 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze medals. Courtesy Cambodian Vovinam Federation

Cambodia’s Vovinam team touched down in the kingdom returning with a haul of 36 medals – 11 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze – from the 4th AVF ASIAN Vovinam Championship 2018 in Indonesia. From 17 participating countries, Cambodia finished in second place.

The squad landed from the Bali competition on Thursday and were met by sports officials from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the leadership of the Vovinam Federation of Cambodia, both of who lauded their achievements.

Ou Ratana, vice president of the Vovinam Federation of Cambodia, said the medals are a source of great pride for Cambodia because it was Cambodia’s first entry into the competition.

“I’m very happy about what our players,” he said. “we have to work harder and further our efforts to get more medals. It is great honour for Cambodia and we cannot lose this momentum.”

Coach Felix Dalmas (2nd from left) said he expected better from his team.Courtesy FFC

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.

Medallists were rewarded handsomely for their achievements by Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Royal Government of Cambodia.

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