Cambodia’s Asian Games medal hopes in women’s taekwondo were shattered by Thailand’s Prasopsuk Rapatkor on Saturday when she edged past Sorn Davin in their under-73kg quarterfinals at the Guangdong Gymnasium.
Victory would have ensured Sorn Davin at least a bronze medal, but while the only point of the match was marked in her favour, a penalty deduction saw the scores leveled with the Thai contenstant given the superiority vote from the referee.
Prasopsuk then lost her semifinal to China’s Luo Wei, who went on to claim the gold on Saturday with a narrow 5-4 victory over Feruza Yergeshova of Kazakhistan.
It was a disappointing weekend for the Kingdom’s two aspirants in the men’s taekwondo competition. Chhoy Bouthorn proved no match to Taiwan’s Wei Chan Yang in the under-58kg round of 16 contest. A dominant display in all three rounds saw Wei Chan Yang storm to a 14-1 victory, and the 18-year-old Taiwanese sensation carried on his fine form right up to the final, where he beat Karaket Pen-Ek of Thailand with a superiority win to clinch the gold medal.
In a men’s under-54kg round of 16 bout on Saturday, Cambodia’s Chan Sovatha was made to suffer on the mat by Phimmasone Douangs of Laos, who sealed his passage into the quarterfinals with a dominant 14-2 winning margin.
Bun Kenny and Orn Sambath’s euphoria over their first round men’s tennis doubles victory on Wednesday evaporated just two days later when the Cambodian pair went down without a whimper 6-1, 6-1 to the Taiwan combo of Yi-Chu Huan and Lee Hsin-Han. The match at the Aoti Tennis Centre was wrapped up in just 37 minutes and featured some consistent serving and volleying by the Taiwanese duo, who were eventually stopped in the semifinals by a Chinese team.
President of the Tennis Federation of Cambodia Cham Prasidh, who is also Senior Commerce Minister, hailed the “delightful achievement” of Cambodia’s first round victory over a Saudi Arabian side. “We are happy we won one,” he said. “We have to take one match at a time. It is a sign that the country’s tennis is heading in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, in the boxing ring on Saturday, Cambodia’s Svay Ratha was outpointed 8-4 by Montolalu Vinky of Indonesia in their men’s 64kg last 16 bout.
It was a case of too little too late for Cambodia’s beach volleyball duo of Samath Vansak and Taing Mengheak in their men’s preliminary Pool G match on Friday. Having lost their first two outings to Chinese and Iranian teams, the team turned up trumps against an East Timor line-up in taking exactly 30 minutes to seal a 21-18, 21-16 victory. Their only win of the campaign was enough to clinch third place in the four-team group, but not enough to advance to the knockout rounds.
The other Cambodian combination of Mon Rom and Nget Sothearith went down fighting against India’s Mudunuri Kasi and Meda Kiran Kumar 21-14, 13-21, 6-15 in their last Pool E match on Friday, to find themselves bottom of the group table.
Vath Chamroeun, General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia who is back in Phnom Penh after a week-long stay in China, said yesterday: “The competition was too stiff for our athletes. We are beginning to show promise, and this performance is better than any of our previous performances. We have a long way to go, but I am sure this experience will help our delegation [in future events].”