Cambodia’s athletes ended their SEA Games campaign on a high yesterday when taekwondo heroine Sorn Seavmey and muay fighter Khim Dhima both won gold medals on the penultimate day of competition, bringing the kingdom’s total to three gold.
Seavmey, the kingdom’s taekwondo darling and a 2013 SEA Games gold medallist and 2014 Asian Games gold medal winner, defeated Filipina Kirstie Elaine Alora in their under 73kg division final with a score of 13-6.
The first round ended tight at 1-1 before Seavmey dominated to open up a three point gap (6-3) in the second.
Alora, desperate to level, added aggression to her arsenal in the third round but with time running out, Seavmey asserted herself to secure the gold medal – Cambodia’s third at these SEA Games.
The win was a welcome victory for Seavmey after a disappointing 2016 Rio Olympic Games performance by the 21-year-old. She was ejected from the competition in the first round after failing to find a way past Reshmie Oogink of the Netherlands.
At 183cm, Seavmey towered above hometown favourite Nurul Nur Hafiza in the earlier semi-final and as expected progressed to the final with little trouble. She flies home this morning.
In other taekwondo bouts yesterday, the trio of Va Mithona, Phan Khemra and Unvin Socharangsey all lost their respective quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, kun khmer fighter Dhima pulled off a slender win over his Thai rival Preedasak Chonlawit – a 29-28 decision.
Meun Sophea contested the 67-71kg category final against Khatthamarasri Anueng, but was unable to get the better of the Thai, who took the gold with a 30-27 victory.
Reacting to the wins, Prime Minister Hun Sen took to his favoured Facebook page to praise Cambodia’s medal-winning athletes.
“I congratulate the Cambodian boxing champion Khun Dima who won the gold medal after defeating the Thai, and Miss Sorn Seavmey, who defeated the Philippines at the 29th Sea Games,” said the prime minister.
“This is our national pride and I wish all the other athletes the same success in the SEA Games in Malaysia.”
Cambodia had, earlier in the competition, won a gold in petanque as Ke Leng and Ouk Sreymom coasted to victory in their final against the Thais. The kingdom won a solitary gold (sepak takraw) at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
Cambodia have no further athletes in contention.
Today, the final day of competition, has a restricted selection of sports – diving, skating and weightlifting – in which no Cambodian athletes are competing.
They will, however, be expected to join the closing ceremony which will be screened live on the NOCCs official Facebook page.