Six athletes departed the kingdom yesterday for China in an effort to gain much needed expertise ahead of the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines later this year.
According to Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), the athletes – five wrestlers and one gymnast – will train between June and November. Through training in China, the NOCC said it hoped to gain good results from this years’ SEA Games.
The secretary-general, speaking at Pochentong Airport yesterday, said he expected the six players to gain new experiences, improve their ability, and progress.
At the same time, he urged all athletes to focus on training, developing their ability, prioritise respect and discipline, and avoid all things that would hinder their development.
Training is funded by Gordon Tang, the first vice president of the NOCC.
Asked whether Cambodia had plans to send more athletes for long-term training abroad, officials answered with a resounding yes.
“We will have a large group of more than 100 athletes to train in China, [South] Korea and Japan to develop ahead of the [Phnom Penh] SEA Games in 2023., “he said.
“This is a NOCC effort under the leadership of Dr. Thong Khon and the support of Gordon Tang. The development of athletes is a priority,” he said, adding that officials focused on fair play.
At the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 2017, Cambodia won three gold, two silver and 12 bronze medals, surpassing the record achieved in the 2015 SEA Games.
Petanque doubles winners Ke Leng and Ouk Sreymom won a team gold, while men’s muay 63kg medallist Dima and female taekwondo under 73kg winner Sorn Seavmey also nabbed individual gold medals.
The 2019 Manila SEA Games will host 529 events in 56 sporting disciplines in what is expected to be the largest event in its history.
The 30th edition of the SEA Games will be hosted in Manila between November 30 to December 10. Discussions last December saw SEAG Federation Council members from all but one of the participating nations take part.
“It’s the biggest and we are happy that the SEA Games Federation agreed to the program,” Philippine National Olympic Committee President Ricky Vargas told reporters.
Hosting rights for 2019 were originally awarded to Brunei Darussalam but the country pulled out citing financial and logistical reasons.
Cambodia will host the regional sporting competition in 2023.