Petanque specialist Sok Chan Mean and taekwondo star Sorn Seavmey were declared the best male and female athletes of the year respectively at the second annual NagaWorld sports excellence awards during a gala evening at the entertainment and gaming hub this week. Seavmey was also named most popular athlete.
Cambodia’s first and only sports awards were introduced last year by NagaWorld in collaboration with the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC).
Among those attending the glittering award ceremony on Tuesday were NOCC president Dr Thong Khon; NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun; the director of sport at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Ouk Sotheycheat; the president of the Football Federation of Cambodia, Sao Sokha; and executive director at NagaWorld Pern Chen. The deputy secretary-general of the Malaysian Olympic Committee, Sieh Kok Chi, was one of the special guests.
Chan Mean caused a stir at the 47th World Petanque Championships in Madagascar last December when he won a gold medal, while Seavmey was the Kingdom’s first athlete to earn qualification for an Olympics and competed at the 2016 Rio Summer Games. The top awards carried a cash prize of $2,500.
Former coach of the national football team Prak Sovannara, now in charge of Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC - currently in second place in the Metfone C-League - and who has handled several other leading clubs such as NagaWorld and Boeung Ket Angkor in an illustrious career, bagged the coach of the year award for leading the Cambodian All Stars to wins over Thai heavyweights Buriram United and SCG Muangthong United. While Sovannara received $2,000, the team collectively got $ 2,500.
Among three newly created categories, the Legends award and $2,000 went to veteran l’bokator coach Hok Chheang Kim, while emerging female l’bokator practitioner Try Sothavy won the Special Talent award for her winning effort at the recent Beach Games in Vietnam. Kong Horn of BTV Television received the best photographer award.
On the Paralympic front, disabled athletes Chem Phan and Sao Thida were judged the best among male and female competitors, respectively. They each were presented with a cash prize of $1,500.