Immaculate blocking was the key to the success for the Chinese pair of Gao Peng and Li Jian over Cambodia’s duo of Samath Vansak and Taing Mengheak in the men’s beach volleyball team event at the Guangzhou Asian Games yesterday.
The Chinese team, backed by a vociferous home crowd of around 1,000 spectators, came up with five blocks on the way to wrapping up a 21-15, 21-10 victory in just 32 minutes. Though the Cambodian combination attempted more attack, 44 to the hosts’ 37, their spiking came up with a poorly 14 hits compared to 25 successes by the Chinese men. The home pair were also slightly ahead on the dig and Li Jian’s consistently good serving proved vital. One positive statistic for the Cambodians was that Taing Menghheak recorded the fastest serve of the match at 84kmph.
Later yesterday, at the Beach Volleyball Centre, the Kingdom’s other team of Nget Sothearith and Mon Rom were shut out by Malaysian opponents Nordin Rafi Asruki and Khoo Chong Long. This Cambodian team fared slightly better in this game, compared to their compatriates, going down 21-16, 21-18 in 38 minutes.
Ponleu comes up short
The last vestiges of Cambodian interest in men’s swimming disappeared yesterday after 20-year-old Hem Thon Ponloeu checked in fourth in Heat 2 of the 50m freestyle, over a second slower than the heat winner.
The nephew of legendary swimmer Hem Thon finished 38th overall out of 43 swimmers with a time of 27.68 seconds, 4.48 secs off the finals qualification mark.
“I tried my best but I could not make it to the final,” said Ponleu after his heat yesterday, adding that he thought he had gained useful experience.
Swimming team coach Hem Lunphat was also enthusiastic about the future prospects of the Kingdom’s swimmers. “We are a young team, we hope to improve on this performance,” he said.
Cambodia have just one more chance left for success in the pool of the Aoti Aquatics Centre, with Hem Thon Vitiny competing in the women’s 50m freestyle heats this morning.
Chess players grab draws
Meanwhile at the Guangzhou Chess Institute yesterday, Cambodia’s pair of competitors in Chinese Chess finally got their campaigns off the ground when they both registered their first points of the men’s individual competition by completing draws.
Heng Chamnan ended his game all even against Kuok U Long of Macau, while Lay Chhay shared the spoils with Japan’s Kazuharu Shoshi.