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Incheon star Seavmey faces Games dilemma

Sorn Seavmey connects with a kick in her match with Kirstie Elaine Alora of the Philippines
Sorn Seavmey connects with a kick in her match with Kirstie Elaine Alora of the Philippines in their women’s -73kg taekwondo semifinal at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, on October 3. AFP

Incheon star Seavmey faces Games dilemma

Cambodia’s first Asian Games gold medallist in nearly 60 years, Incheon 2014 taekwondo sensation Sorn Seavmey, has a huge decision to make before she can focus on June’s SEA Games in Singapore and attempt to repeat her 2013 success in Myanmar.

The 20-year-old six-footer who got past rivals from Uzbekistan, the Philippines and Iran on her way to an incredible victory in the women’s under-73kg category in South Korea four months ago, will have to get down to a much lower weight class in Singapore as there is no competition in her natural category.

Since Seavmey, currently around 67 kilos, can only compete in Singapore’s top-end 62kg class after organisers restricted taekwondo to 15 categories, she will have to shed at least five kilos in the next three months.

The non-availability of the heavier class competition has also kept away Sorn Seavmey’s older sister Sorn Davin, a Myanmar silver medallist and a bronze-winner at last year’s Asian Championships in Tashkent who went out of the quarter-finals in Incheon.

“We have asked Seavmey to make her own choice before the end of this month after w with her coach Choi Yung Sok. We respect her decision because she has to retain her physical and mental strength, and feel confident and comfortable doing it,” secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Vath Chamroeun said yesterday.

“There is no doubt her participation is crucial for our gold medal prospects, but we do not want to rush her. We have to keep her participation in the 2016 Olympics also in mind.

“It is in her best interests that she make the call whether to go for it or not. It is not beyond fighters to lose this kind of weight without being physically or mentally impacted. So we have given her until the end of this month to decide,” he said.

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