A squad of six Cambodian bodybuilders set off by bus to Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday morning to compete at the 47th Asian Bodybuilder and Physique Sports Championships, which started the same day and runs until Monday at the Phu Tho stadium.
The Kingdom’s musclemen had generally struggled to match the standard of international competitors in the past, but a concerted effort by the Cambodian Body Building and Fitness Federation and its students has helped yield some hopes for medals in the event attended by representatives from 32 nations.
According to CBBFF president Rasmey Sokmongkul, who is privately funding the trip and will accompany the team abroad along with two more coaches, Cambodia’s Sambo Nan recently came fourth at a competition in China while his brother Sambo Nuon grabbed seventh.
The Thai-based siblings are not in the delegation bound for Vietnam, but Sokmongkul says he is confident of success from the other Cambodia team members.
“We believe Sok Sopheak will get a medal and Tek Bun Vi and Heng Bun Neang will finish in the top five because they’ve got lots of experience competing abroad. However, it is hard to predict the results for the other three men as it is the first time they have competed internationally,” the president said.
The competition in Ho Chi Minh City involves both height and weight classes. Sok Sopheak will contest the 1.5-metre category, while Nuot Sophal will compete at 1.75m. Tek Bun Vi is vying for glory in the over-75kg division, Seng Thear in the 55kg section, Som Somnang at 60kg and Heng Bun Neang at 70kg.
Before departing for Vietnam, Sok Sopheak told the Post: “I’ve joined international competitive events 10 times already. With [this experience], I’ve learned lots about my weaknesses and prepared pretty well for these Games. As a result, I’m confident enough to bring back a medal.”