The 6th WVVF World Vovinam Championships will be hosted in the kingdom later this year and players and coaches are stepping up training ahead of the showpiece event.
Players from around the world will converge on Phnom Penh between December 16th – 22th 2019 to compete and showcase their skills in the Vietnamese martial art.
Kao Makara, national team coach, said the kingdom was ready to compete.
“About 25 to 30 [of our] players will compete, and we can participate in 38 of the 42 disciplines. In the near future, the Vovinam Federation of Cambodia is also preparing to send some athletes for training in Vietnam.
The event will be organised by the Vovinam Federation in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
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.
At a reception in Hanoi last year, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen was treated to a Vovinam special performance.
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.
Cambodia’s Vovinam athletes have long impressed on the international stage. Last year, the kingdom despatched 25 athletes for the 4th AVF Asian Vovinam Championships in Bali, Indonesia where they racked up 17 medals, comprising of 4 gold, 6 silver, and 7 bronze.
In August 2018, the team landed a grand total of 29 medals from the regional 5th Southeast Asian Championships in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.