Cambodia’s medal tally in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games climbed after a series of bronze-medal wins in arnis.
From 13, Cambodia’s medal tally jumped to 21 after it won eight more bronze between December 2 and 3. Cambodia did not win any medal yesterday.
All of the eight new medals for Cambodia came from arnis. So far, arnis has produced all of Cambodia’s medals except for one silver that the sepak takraw (men) team won. Cambodia’s sole gold medal so far also came from arnis.
Four of the eight arnis bronze medals that were added to the latest tally are courtesy of Eng Sou Mala and Chhem Sila. Eng placed third in both the traditional and non-traditional anyo categories (women), while Chhem took the bronze in the men’s side of the same arnis categories.
Despite the increased medal tally, Cambodia’s ranking among participating countries actually went down. From being number seven three days ago, Cambodia slid to the ninth spot just ahead of Laos and the still medal-less Timor-Leste
Cambodia’s medal haul is expected to increase in the coming days when the final matches for the other disciplines where it is strong, including petanque and taekwondo, will be played. Many matches were also rescheduled due to Typhoon Kammuri, which hit the Philippines this week.
Except in arnis and sepak takraw, the first five days of the SEA Games did not go well for the Cambodia delegation.
The Cambodian baseball team opened its SEA Games campaign on a losing note after a 12-0 drubbing by host Philippines during their game at Clark Field on Dec 3.
The indoor volleyball team (men), meanwhile, lost its opening match to the Philippines at the Philsport Arena in Pasig on a score of 29-27, 25-17, 25-17
The result in indoor hockey was much better, where Cambodia’s women team drew its opening game versus Singapore yesterday, 3-3. This performance is particularly impressive given that Singapore has one of the best indoor hockey teams in Southeast Asia.
Cambodia is placing high hopes on the team led by forward Theab Lina.
The Cambodian team performed well in friendly matches against teams from hockey powerhouses Thailand in Pakistan last month. It also carved out a 4-1 win against the Phnom Penh Hock Club at the CIS Roller Dome just a day before flying to the Philippines.
In prior interviews, Cambodia coach Asif Maqsood Rana said they are aiming for at least third place in the SEA Games.
Cambodian sports officials are optimistic that they can match or surpass the Kingdom’s performance in the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia. Cambodia placed eight two years ago with 17 medals, including three gold, two silver and 12 bronze.
The 2019 SEA Games will conclude on Dec 11.