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PHNOM PENH -- Hosts Cambodia expect a medal harvest at the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA Games), a biennial multi-sport event scheduled from May 5 to 17, a top official said on Monday.
Tourism Minister Thong Khon, president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said, "we expect the number of medals gained in the upcoming Games will increase by almost 200 percent from 63 medals won in the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam in 2022."
Cambodia won nine gold, 13 silver and 41 bronze medals in the 31st SEA Games.
A 1,203-strong Cambodian delegation, including 896 athletes, will take part in the 32nd SEA Games that the kingdom will host for the first time in 64 years.
"About 40 percent of our athletes have been sent to train and compete abroad to improve their capacities and techniques ahead of the Games," Thong Khon said during a meeting with the athletes and coaches at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh.
Speaking at the meeting, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen advised all athletes to adhere to the principle of fair play in order to maintain the nation's reputation and dignity.
"We hope our athletes will gain more gold medals in the upcoming Games," he said.
According to the Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC), more than 11,000 athletes, coaches, and sport delegates from 11 Southeast Asian countries will join the 32nd SEA Games, which will feature 37 sports with 589 disciplines.
The 60,000-seat Morodok Techo National Stadium in northern Phnom Penh will be the centerpiece venue for official opening and closing ceremonies, and tournaments.