Ouk Sreymom, Cambodia's only gold medalist, shined at the 22nd Southeast Asian Games where she competed in petanque, also called boules, in which players toss metal and wooden balls down a gravel pit. Sreymom participated with 189 other Cambodian athletes in Vietnam on December 5-13. The athletes brought home 17 medals, the most in Cambodian history.
Cambodian players gave their best performance ever at the 22nd Southeast Asian Games
in Vietnam bringing home 17 medals--10 more than last year-during the regional competition
against 10 other nations, said National Olympic Committee officials.
Some of the success could be attributed to greater participation in this year's games.
Cambodia sent more athletes, 190 athletes in 20 sports, compared to only 79 players
in six sports during the 2001 competition in Malaysia.
Bronze medals accounted for all of the increase in the awards. Eleven bronze medals
were earned this year, compared to only one in the previous competition.
In both 2001 and 2003, Cambodia received one gold and five silver medals.
But Meas Sarin, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee, said this year's
success might be hard to sustain.
"Cambodia players have a lot of power in the first round, but have no strength
if they compete a little bit longer," said Sarin. "They do not practice
enough and their strategies are not up to international standards."
In the past, Cambodia has struggled to make a respectable showing at the games.
The head of Cambodia's National Olympic Committee suggested some team's poor performance
had damaged Cambodia's reputation abroad.
But Prum Bunyi, an official in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS),
retreated from earlier statements in the press that the Cambodian soccer team had
"shamed" its nation.
"If we say Cambodian soccer players are so weak, it makes them more unhappy,"
said Bunyi. "We have to motivate them."
Overall, Bunyi said he was satisfied with Cambodia's performance, but said only the
teams most likely to win would be sent to the next Southeast Asian games held in
Ly Santhik, director of the financial department in MoEYS said that the Ministry
had spent about $105,000 on the 21st Southeast Asian Games. It spent more than $136,000
1st place : Ouk Sreymom, 21
2nd place (double): Ke Leng, 33 and Duch Sophorn, 21
2nd place (double): Ros Bunly, 44 and Hou Hoeun, 53
2nd place (triple): Ouk Sreymom, 21, Pen Makara, 25 and
Ke Leng, 33
2nd place : Khom Ratanakmony, 21
2nd place : Nuth Sereivuth, 20
3rd place : Chov Sotheara, 20
Shooting: (5 events)
3rd place (triple): Sok Sarom, 34, Phalla Phareth, 28 and Hem Setha, 30 (2 medals)
3rd place (triple): Chhim Boray, 30, Suon Sarath, 29 and Tep Saran, 34 (3 medals)
3rd place : Chea Srey Meas, 17
3rd place (double): Chea Srey Meas, 17 and San Sophorn, 17
3rd place (triple): Chea Srey Meas, 17, Ouk Soksan, 18 and San Sophorn, 17
3rd place: Hen Sai Heng, 20
3rd place: Bout Vichet, 24