Cambodia Has Surpassed Expectations as ASEAN Para Games Host, APSF Officials Say

Cambodia has received overwhelming praise from top officials of the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) for hosting the ASEAN Para Games. Photo: Mom Pitu

PHNOM PENH – Cambodia has received overwhelming praise from top officials of the ASEAN Para Sports Federation (APSF) for hosting the ASEAN Para Games. In fact, the country went beyond all expectations, the more so that the country was hosting the games for the first time, they said during a press conference during the evening of June 8. 

The 12th ASEAN Para Games, which began on June 3 with the closing ceremony to be held in the evening of June 9, saw Cambodia breaking the previous record set in Indonesia, Cambodia having obtained 27 more. As of Friday 9 am, Cambodia had 70 medals: 9 golds, 18 silvers and 43 bronzes.

During the press conference at the main press center, APSF President Osoth Bhavilai thanked Cambodia for the smooth hosting of the ASEAN Para Games even though this was the first time the country was hosting the event and had to promote the sports.

Wandee Tosuwan, secretary general of APSF, said that hosting the Para Games for the first time is not an easy task but that Cambodia has done it well. She cited the process of classification of each athlete, which needs to be done thoroughly, the inclusion of many events in athletics and swimming. 

She said that, over the last week, there were many inspiring actions, new records and, along with the competitive nature of the young athletes, this has provided them with great opportunities to prepare for the upcoming Asian Para Games in Hangzhou in China in October 2023, and next year’s Paralympic Games as well as the 13th ASEAN Para Games in Korat in Thailand, which will take place in January 2026.

“The ASEAN Para Sports Federation is happy to note that Host Cambodia has successfully delivered the Games and even surpassed our expectations in many organizational areas, despite hosting the Games for the first time,” Wandee Tosuwan said.

Phos Sovan, chairman of the media and broadcast committee (second from left), APSF President Osoth Bhavilai ( third from left) and Wandee Tosuwan, secretary general of APSF during a press conference on June 9. Photo: Mom Pitu

“This includes preparation of sports facilities and venues, Games Village, food, accommodation, transportation, media and broadcast facilities, human resources, para sports education, and accessibilities.

“I believe, there are many good initiatives in the Games here which can be emulated or improved by future hosts, to continue elevating the status and standard of ASEAN Para Games,” she added.

As the host, Cambodia has provided free accommodation for all officials and athletes from the 11 participating countries, free tickets for all competitions and free broadcasting. All this was also provided during the South East Asian Games held in May 2023 in Phnom Penh

Phos Sovan, chairman of the media and broadcast committee, said that 1,738 members of the media, including 110 foreign reporters, have covered the Para Games.

According to Wandee Tosuwan of the ASEAN Para Sports Federation, this demonstrates the great support towards the Para Games and the development of para sports and the movement toward those sports in this region.

As of the morning of June 9, Indonesia currently tops the medal tally with 354 medals of which 153 are gold, 141 are silver and 93 are bronze.  

The curtain is set to fall on the 12th ASEAN Para Games Friday evening, June 9, in Phnom Penh.

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