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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Turnout shows people love military: Manet

A soldier has a piece of wood broken across his back during military games held on Koh Pich in Phnom Penh yesterday.
A soldier has a piece of wood broken across his back during military games held on Koh Pich in Phnom Penh yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Turnout shows people love military: Manet

A team from RCAF’s cadet college took home first prize at a military sports competition held to celebrate the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge 38 years ago, which finished yesterday.

The contest, held on Koh Pich, pitted teams from different branches of the military, other government bodies and a few private companies against each other in a round robin of games and obstacle courses.

First place went to the team from École des Officiers d’Active, followed by the 911 paratrooper brigade, the Navy’s Division 31 and the border-based Intervention Division 3.

The national counter-terrorism unit finished just out of the top tier, while the Environment Ministry brought up the rear.

Long Phally, of the École des Officiers d’Active, said his team had trained hard for the tournament. “Other groups were not weak, but we won because we encouraged and inspired our members to be brave,” Phally said, noting his team had also won the 2016 competition.

Hun Manet, head of the counter-terrorism unit and eldest son of the prime minister, declared the games a success both as a commemorative event as well as a military showcase.

“If the people were afraid of the army, did not love the army and did not want to know about the army, no one would come. This crowd shows peoples’ willingness,” he said.

Prior to the spectacle on Thursday, opposition spokesman Yim Sovann suggested the contest was less about sports and more a show of force.

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