Taekwondo and jiu-jitsu are becoming a gold mine for Cambodia’s delegation, with the disciplines netting the Kingdom two more gold medals with one more day to go before the conclusion of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.
The SEA Games, which started on November 30 will conclude on December 11 after 12 days of competition that was mostly successful, despite some early hiccups and the battering of Typhoon Kammuri.
Cambodia now has four gold medals. Cambodia’s first gold came last week courtesy of Bokator master Hong Mengly. Cambodia bagged its second gold medal two days later after a team composed of Sreng Sorakhim, Khoun Yary and Duong Dina beat their counterparts in Malaysia in the finals of petanque Triples Women category.
Yesterday, jiu-jitsu prodigy Jessa Khan beat Jenna Kaila Napolis of the Philippines to win the gold in jiu-jitsu women’s under-49kg event.
“Congratulations to Jessa Khan for winning another gold for Cambodia. I hope that Cambodian women will win more gold medals in the SEA Games,” Prime Minister Hun Sen posted on his Facebook page.
Ms Khan, who is Cambodian-American, became a sensation last year, when she unexpectedly won a gold medal in the women’s 49kg ne-waza event in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
The day before, Cambodian taekwondo star Sorn Seavmey won the gold after beating Kirstie Elaine Alora of the Philippines in the women’s over-73kg category.
Ms Seavmey, who is six feet tall, used her height advantage to defeat Ms Alora, 12-9, via a golden point which broke a 9-9 tie after three rounds.
Winning is nothing new for Ms Seavmey, who is among Cambodia’s best athletes. Three years ago, she qualified to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
She also won a gold medal in the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar and 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia. She topped it with a gold medal finish in the 2014 Asian Games in Korea, bringing Cambodia its first gold since its participation in 1954.
Overall, Cambodia has now won 40 medals, which is more than double the medals it won in the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia.
Two years ago, Cambodia netted a total of 17 medals, including three gold, two silver and 12 bronze.
This year, Cambodia’s medals mostly came from boxing, muay thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, petanque and arnis. The Kingdom also took home silver in men’s sepak takraw.