Cambodia finally won a gold medal at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games when the women’s petanque doubles team of Ke Leng and Ouk Sreymom defeated their Thai counterparts Phantipha Wongchuvej and Pataratida Meepak 13-10 yesterday.
“We were confident as we knew [from the group stage] that we could beat them,” said an emotional Sreymom minutes after the victory.
“Of course we are happy to bring back a gold medal for the country.”
Earlier, Leng and Sreymom beat Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia for a shot at gold.
As of yesterday evening, Cambodia have garnered six medals – one gold and five bronze.
Andrea Ka, Cambodia’s tennis prodigy, settled for a bronze after failing to get the better of the Philippines’ Anna Clarice Patrimonio.
Ka, ranked 613 in the world, fell 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5), but praised her opponent in defeat.
“She has good strokes. She hits hard and it’s not easy to get her ball,” Ka told the Philippines News Agency (PNA).
“Mentally, she’s always in the match. She never gave up,” said the 25-year-old.
“I am disappointed because I was leading in the tie-breaker in the first set. I had the momentum but I did not take the opportunity.”
Meanwhile, the Cambodian football team ended their participation with a 2-0 reverse to Indonesia – their fifth straight defeat at the Games.
Under pressure coach Leonardo Vitorino, who has overseen only two wins since taking over in March, called a hastily arranged online press conference streamed on the Federation’s Facebook page.
The Brazilian announced the dismissal of Samoeun Pidor and Cherng Polroth – among two of the side’s best players – for unspecified disciplinary matters.
“We would like to inform to all that we are looking for the best things for the national team. Polroth and Pidor, they are cut from the national team one day before the match against Indonesia,” Vitorino said.
“We are together, and we are looking for the better future for the national team. They were cut because of discipline, so if the players do not follow the new rules of the national team, they are out.
“We are looking for the better future for your country and your football, so now we will be very strong about the discipline.
“I hope you [supporters] support our journey with the national team because we want to make the national team strong, we want to make the Cambodian people proud of their national team.”
Drawn in group B, Cambodia opened their campaign with a 2-0 loss to the Philippines – a team Cambodia were expected to beat. They then followed with successive losses to Vietnam, Thailand and lowly-Timor Leste – before their final humiliation against Indonesia yesterday afternoon.