Asian Games Records Make up for Medals Disappointment

Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympics Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), speaks to reporters. Photo: Kim Makara

PHNOM PENH – Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympics Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), says winning one bronze medal from the 2022 Asian Games wasn’t a good result compared with the 2018 event but the athletes’ technical level had improved significantly.

At the Games in Hangzhou, China, the Cambodian team won only a bronze medal from karate and ranked 38th in the medal count. In Jakarta in 2018, the country won one gold medal from jiu jitsu and one gold medal and one bronze medal from jet ski.

While the result was not satisfying, Chamroeun expressed no dissatisfaction since Cambodians had broken personal records and records of previous Cambodian athletes in individual events such as swimming and athletics.

Some of the best Cambodian athletes who had competed in Indonesia did not participate this year’s Games.

Saly Ou Moeut, the gold and bronze medalist of the 18th Asian Games in jet ski, couldn’t compete because the host did not include the sport while Jessa Khan, the ju-jitsu medalist, decided to pull out due to personal issues. Sorn Seavmey, the gold medalist in taekwondo in the 2014 Games, had retired.

Chamroeun said the Asian Games was highly competitive with many top-level countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and those from Arab countries while Cambodian athletes are still limited to the ASEAN level.

However, Cambodian athletes had done well with a stronger technical level compared to the SEA Games.

“The Asian Games is a world-class event. Our level is not up to it. Our level is still in our region. We could see that our technical level from the SEA Games to the Asian Games has improved,” he said.

“Runner, and swimmer, for example, have broken Cambodian records in the past, and they have a talent that we can push for medals in the near future. We will work harder.

“This was a good thing for us to see them gaining a lot of technical progress as the Games are tougher than before. There is a lot of competition.”

The NOCC secretary-general said the Cambodian athletes and delegates did not lower the national values on the international stage, especially maintaining the national dignity as instructed by the leadership.

Cambodia sent 114 athletes to compete in 17 sports in Hangzhou from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8.

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