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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia fail to lift off

Cambodia fail to lift off

Cambodia suffered a disappointing start to their Asian Games campaign in Guangzhou, failing to capture any victories in all of their opening disciplines.

The tennis team of Bun Kenny and Orn Sambath were whitewashed 3-0 by Chinese Taipei in their men’s team event at the Aoti Tennis Centre on Saturday. In the first rubber singles match, Orn Sambath was outclassed by Chen Ti to go down 6-1, 6-0. Bun Kenny provided stiffer resistance against Yang Tshung Hua in the second rubber, succumbing 6-1, 6-4.

The Kingdom’s top pairing were simply no match for their opponents in the doubles rubber, losing 6-0, 6-0 to confirm their exit from the competition. They will now concentrate on preparations for the men’s singles and doubles events scheduled to start on Wednesday.    

Meanwhile, in the pool at the Aoti Aquatics Centre on Saturday, swimmer Hem Thon Vitiny finished dead last in her women’s 50m breaststroke heat despite bettering her personal best by 1.82 seconds. The Cambodian teenager came in 8.20 seconds behind Satomi Suzuki of Japan, who won the heat with a time of 32.12 seconds. Vitiny will compete in her remaining event, the women’s 50m freestyle, tomorrow.

Yesterday, Vitiny’s teammate and uncle Hem Thon Ponleu fared slightly better in his men’s 50m breaststroke heat, coming home second behind Ahmed Atari of Qatar and ahead of Byambasuren Erdenebileg of Mongolia. However, Ponleu’s time of 33.16 seconds had him placed 32nd out of 34 qualifiers, with the finals threshold set at 28.77 seconds. Ponleu will be back in action this morning in the men’s 50m freestyle.

Over at the Guangzhou Chess Institute, Cambodia’s two Chinese Chess players lost both of their opening rounds. Hopes of medals in the game also known as Xiangqi took a knock when local master Heng Chamnan fell to Vietnam rival Nguyen Than Bao and Lay Chhay was defeated by Lei Kam Fun of Macau in first round matches on Saturday. In the second round yesterday, Ma Chung Wei of Chinese Taipei beat Heng Chamnan, while Lay Chhay was dispatched by Hong Kong’s Chiu Yu Kuen.

The Cambodian duo face an uphill task now over the five remaining rounds played every day until Friday.

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