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Cambodia in 7th heaven

091214_22
Phouthavong Outhasak (in blue) of Laos fights with Chhoy Bouthorn of Cambodia in the men’s flyweight taekwondo final Sunday. AFP

Kingdom’s taekwondo team will bring home seven SEA Games medals

VIENTIANE

Phouthavong Outhasak (in blue) of Laos fights with Chhoy Bouthorn of Cambodia in the men’s flyweight taekwondo final Sunday. AFP

THE Kingdom completed a successful taekwondo campaign at the 25th SEA Games in Vientiane over the weekend, with another three medals to end their competition with a total of seven. Chhoeung Puthearim and Cheang Bunna bagged bronzes in the women’s featherweight (53-57kg) and lightweight (57-62kg) categories respectively, and Chhoy Bunthorn took silver in the men’s flyweight division.

Chhoeung Puthearim, 20 years old, was beaten in her semifinal Saturday by Vietnam’s Nguyen Hoai Thu, who went on to claim the gold. “Winning a medal is my dream,” said Chhoeung Puthearim. “I’m so proud, but winning a gold would be the ulitimate in happiness for me, my team and my nation.”

Cheang Bunna, 21, was also happy with her medal Saturday, but despite being more than a month older than victorious semifinal opponent Tikdaphone Chamnhath of Laos, said she was still young compared to others in the competition.

Beaten semifinalists in taekwondo both receive bronze medals, whereas the winners compete in a final for the gold and silver.

Chhoy Bunthorn, 20, won his semifinal Sunday afternoon against East Timor opponent Alves Almeida, before losing an hour later to home-crowd hero Phouthavong Outhasak of Laos in the final. The Cambodian was proud of his medal, but felt sorry that he couldn’t win the gold, pledging to try harder to win medals for the Kingdom at future international competitions.

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