Asian Games: No Medals but New Personal Records for Cambodian Swimmers

Cambodian swimmer in action at Asian Games in Hangzhou. Photo: NOCC

PHNOM PENH – The Khmer Swimming Federation is optimistic about the fact that Cambodian swimmers improved their performances at the 19th Asian Games in China despite not winning any medals.

Cambodian athletes are competing in the Games in Hangzhou, China, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 in 17 sports including swimming, volleyball, athletics and basketball. 

The first Cambodian swimmers competed on Sept. 25. In the men’s category, Antoine de Lapparent clocked 26.77s in Men 50m Backstroke, well behind China’s Xu Jaiyu who took the gold medal in 24.99s, and Montross Phansovannarun clocked 24.91s in Men 50m Freestyle.

As for the women, Kheun Chanchakriya clocked 32.20s in Women's 50m Backstroke. 

Despite the fact that none of the Cambodian athletes won a medal, Hem Kiri, secretary general of the Khmer Swimming Federation, remains delighted with these performances as athletes have broken their personal records.

“Progress is a hope for future competitions. As long as athletes improve their performance from one competition to another, the momentum is good,” he said. “At the Asian Games, Cambodian athletes were not so far behind the athletes who won the medals.”

“It doesn’t matter whether it is a small or big improvement. If they keep improving, they’ll be successful one day. But we have to be cautious not to lower the pace.”

Athletes ought to break their personal records both in training and competition, otherwise, there will be no hope of winning any medals in the future, Kiri added.

“Swimming is a competitive sport. In general, the crucial thing is that we make ourselves faster. This is called progress, regardless of how small or big that progress is,” he said.

Kiri acknowledged that there are world-class swimmers from China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore at the Games, but he wants to focus on Southeast Asian athletes.

“Our athletes achieved noticeable time marks, comparable to the athletes in the region and not far from East Asian swimmers,” Kiri said. “That is called improvement and hope for the future. Before, Montross couldn’t go below the 25-second mark, but this time, he swam in only 24.91, which is his new personal record.” 

“We’ll focus more on his swimming technique, and hopefully one day, he will win a medal,” Kiri said. 



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