China has responded favourably to a request from the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia to let some of the Kingdom’s athletes in select disciplines make use of the high-tech training facilities in Beijing to prepare for this year’s SEA Games in Myanmar in December.
“We have a memorandum of understanding with China, and some of our athletes trained in Beijing before the London Olympics [last year],” NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun told the Post.
“Members of our swimming, table tennis, athletics, badminton and one or two other teams will now be able to train in China.”
Meanwhile, Cambodian wrestlers will get a big boost under an Olympic Solidarity-funded training program to be conducted by internationally reputed coach Stephen Kazarian, an Armenian veteran of nearly a dozen Olympics and 65 male and female World Championships.
Now living in Switzerland, Kazarian is no stranger to Cambodian wrestling, having coached the national team way back in the late 1960s. He was back in Phnom Penh after a 42-year break in 2010 to conduct an International Olympic Committee technical course for wrestling coaches.
A group of 20 national probables will go through a training stint under Kazarian in two stages. The first camp will be held next month, with the second and final one planned for early next year.
“We are very happy to have a coach of Kazarian’s stature and experience helping our wrestlers. Wrestling has been part of our country’s tradition,” said Vath Chamroeun, himself a competitive wrestler in his younger days who represented Cambodia at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Golf coaching course hits bunker
A technical course sanctioned by the IOC for as many as 25 Cambodian golf coaches has seemingly run into a logistical problem and may be indefinitely delayed or even cancelled.
Golf’s world governing body, the International Golf Federation, has indicated to the NOCC that it is not in a position to provide an expert to conduct the course.
“The course has to be conducted by an expert sent by the international golf body. This is an IOC stipulation. It is a huge disappointment for us,” Vath Chamroeun said.
Golf is making its return to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.