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Athletics coach voices his lack of faith in ministry

Concern has been expressed about the preparation of two promising junior athletes ahead of their trip to the 6th South East Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Indonesia.

Pov Sitha, technical instructor of Cambodia Athletic Federation, gave a critical assessment of the training conditions available to 16-year-old Mao Tola and 17-year-old Chan Siha, after they started training with the national team on March 29.

“Tola and Siha are now selected in the national team with another instructor [appointed by the ministry]. Therefore, I am concerned a bit with their training that could be irregular,” said their former coach Pov Sitha.

“I don’t mean to suggest that both young athletes are lazy, but I hope their training [with the national team] not only focuses on technique but also their personality, especially their attitude to training hard.”

The Federation official’s obvious mistrust in the national team set up, which is overseen by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, may stem from the fact that the CAF has been held responsible for funding the duo’s entire travel arrangements including flights and visas. Pov Sitha is set to accompany the pair to Jakarta for the June 17-18 showcase.

Mao Tola will compete in boy’s 100-metre and 200-metre events, while Chan Siha will run in the 200-metre and 400-metre girls competitions.  

“Through her newfound speed, Siha seems not to fear her competitors. But Tola will face a tough test if he is put in a group of Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian athletes,” added Pov Sitha.

TRANSLATED BY PANN RETHEA

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