The Cambodian wrestling team squeezed out yet another gold at the 27th SEA Games yesterday with Dorn Sov bettering his men’s under-120kg Greco silver medal by claiming victory in the freestyle heavyweight division at Yangon’s National Indoor Stadium.
Team-mates Chey Chanraksmey and Kang Denpiseth managed to add bronzes in women’s 51kg and men’s 60kg events respectively to take the wrestling contribution to the Kingdom’s cause in Myanmar to three golds medals, two silvers and three bronzes.
Meanwhile, the petanque squad stayed on track for medals from finals today with good showings in the preliminary stage yesterday at the Petanque Arena just outside of the Athletes Village in Naypyidaw.
National Olympic Committee of Cambodia President and Tourism Minister Thong Khon was at hand to see the men’s doubles team of Thong Chhoeung and Sok Chan Mean thump the hosts Myanmar 13-5, do the same to Malaysia, come up a little short against Vietnam 11-13, but cap off the day with a 13-7 win over Thailand. The dynamic duo will face Laos in today’s semi-final.
In the women’s singles category, Un Srey Ya dominated her two ties, beating her Thai opponent 13-6 and a Myanmar rival 13-7. Semi-finals and final will be contested today.
There was little else to celebrate in the Cambodian camp as athletes failed to make their mark in events yesterday including cycling, basketball, canoeing and badminton.
The team mountain bike cross country relay, held over a 17km course around Naypyidaw’s Wunna Theikdi Sports Complex, provided some harsh realities for the Kingdom’s riders Nnonh Lenh, Keo Ratha, Heng Sivlang and Heng Sivguex, who were well off the pace of the six-team field. Indonesia grabbed gold with a total time of 55:48:377, while Thailand took silver and Vietnam bronze.
The basketball team, who had looked promising with an opening day win over Myanmar, suffered their third defeat on the trot against Thailand yesterday. The Thais outscored their rivals in the first three quarters, including a 24-11 blowout in the second, but even the heroics of Cambodia’s Dominic Dar and his 41-point star performance was not enough to swing the tie at Naypyidaw’s Zayar Thiri Indoor Stadium.
There remains an outside chance of a podium place for Cambodia in the seven-team round robin competition, but they will need to finish strongly in their remaining games against Singapore from 12:30pm today and 2011 bronze medalists Indonesia on Sunday.
Over at the Ngalike Dam, located roughly 20km north of the capital along the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway, the canoeing/kayaking classes were proving too tough for Cambodian participants.
Hun Rady came home sixth out of six in the men’s individual 1,500m kayak race, which was won by Thailand’s Kasemsit Borriboonwasin with Thanh Quang Nguyen of Vietnam in second and Singaporean Wei Cheng Brandon Ooi in third.
In Pheary was even more outclassed in the men’s individual 500m canoeing, ending a distant sixth behind Indonesian winner Spens Stuber Mehue, runner-up Win Htike of Myanmar and Thai bronze man Rungsawan Suansan.
The badminton contingent saw their last hopes of glory smashed on the courts of Naypyidaw’s Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium yesterday. The mixed doubles team of Leng Sopheatra and Ker Pichchhoravy were soundly beaten 21-15, 21-5 by Thai pair Puttita Supajirakul and Nipitphon Puangpuapech.
At time of press, Cambodia remained in seventh place in the medals table, with the Philippines above and Singapore below all matching each other on three golds. Hosts Myanmar kept sitting pretty on top with 20 golds, six clear of second placed Vietnam and 11 ahead of Indonesia.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHHORN NORN & CHENG SERYRITH