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Athletes look to impress in Hanoi Games

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Cambodian athletes line up for a presentation during a National Olympic Committee seminar at the Sunway Hotel on June 8.

Cambodian athletes will look to make strong performances in the upcoming third Asian Indoor Games in Hanoi next month in the hope of gaining national team selection for the SEA Games in Laos in December

WITH the 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos barely three months away, members of the reconstituted National Olympic Committee of Cambodia are busy making plans to ensure a good performance by the Cambodian delegates, who will be donning the blue-and-red kits come December. National team hopefuls will try to impress their sport federation executives at the third Asian Indoor Games held in Hanoi from October 30 to November 8.

Newly appointed committee Secretary General Vath Chamroeun revealed that Cambodia would be taking part in six events at the Asian Indoor Games, held for the first time in Vietnam.

“This is a great sporting event, held exclusively by Asian countries for those sports that have not yet got a chance to join continental and world arenas,” he said. “We are going to use the Asian Indoor Games to prepare our atheletes for the forthcoming SEA Games.”

The Indoor Games are expected to feature a total of 23 sports. The NOCC have announced that around 30 Cambodian athletes would be sent to Vietnam to take part in six events, namely table tennis, badminton, wrestling, judo, futsal and indoor volleyball.

“Our main focus is for the 2009 SEA Games in Laos and 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China,” noted Vath Chamroeun. “Nevertheless, we will be going to Hanoi to try to win. We are preparing the athletes to be fit and in good shape.

“Preparation for participation guarantees performance. Without preparation, [and] good attitude, there cannot be good performance,” the official said.

Vath Chamroeun, who is also secretary general of the Cambodian Wrestling Federation and chief of department at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, is optimistic that the new term of the NOCC will see rapid development of Cambodian sport.

“We have our plans already set out,” he declared. “We are working together with the Ministry of Tourism; Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; and with support from the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and Olympic Council of Asia, we hope to move Cambodian sports forward.”

The objective of the Cambodian Olympic committee is now to reform sports facilities and infrastructure in Cambodia in order to compete with regional neighbours.

“The government is not happy that we are lagging behind in sports,” Vath Chamroeun revealed. “We are being challenged by Laos’s hosting of the SEA Games. We have the facilities to some extent, but our major concern is lack of human resources in the area of sports. Thus, we are going to look into the technical and administrative aspect of sports development to enable us host the [regional competitions] in the near future.”

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