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Chov Sotheara (right) has won Cambodia’s fourth SEA Games gold in Myanmar
Chov Sotheara (right) has won Cambodia’s fourth SEA Games gold in Myanmar. AFP

Chov Sotheara golden again

Cambodian wrestler Chov Sotheara repeated her success of the 2009 SEA Games in Laos by clinching gold in the women’s under-44kg freestyle event on Friday at the 27th edition in Myanmar.

The conclusion of the wrestling competition, held at the National Indoor Stadium in Yangon, saw the Kingdom haul in four gold medals, equaling the total golds won by the entire delegation at Indonesia’s Games two years ago.

Back in her favoured weight class after a failing to make the podium at 52kg in 2011, Chov Sotheara beat Thailand’s Pimpak Sureeporn into silver as Myanmar’s Thidar Soe took bronze.

Meanwhile, Cambodia’s Sou Joshua secured bronze in the men’s under-96kg freestyle.

Over at the petanque pits near Naypyidaw’s Athletes Village, the Cambodian team were unable to reproduce their gold winning exploit in Indonesia, but added another silver and bronze to their collection yesterday.

Douch Sophorn and Ouk Sreymom were beaten 13-4 by Thai pair Wongchuvej Phantipha and Thamakord Thongsri in the final of the women’s doubles.

In the men’s singles, Ouk Samnang lost his semi-final 13-8 to Myanmar’s Than Zaw Oo, who went on to claim gold with a 13-9 win over Thailand’s Sonthung Wattanachai.

With no other victories on a busy day of sport yesterday, Cambodia resided in eighth position in the 11-nation medal table on four golds, six silvers and 11 bronzes.

Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam occupied the top three spots respectively, all on 33 golds each with silvers currently dictating the order.

East Timor remained the only country not to boast a gold medal, and only have one bronze to their name.

Cambodian swimmers fared poorly at the Wunna Theikdi Swimming Pool over the weekend, with none of the team members qualifying from the heats.

Maximov Chamraen Youri and Hem Thon Ponleu were both entered into three men’s events each, including 50m and 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 100m and 200m backstroke, while Thoeun Thol took part in the 100m backstroke and 100m freestyle races.

Hem Thon Vithiny and Seng Samphors failed to progress in the women’s 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke respectively.

Ponleu and Vithiny’s fellow London Olympian Kieng Samorn were outclassed on dry land yesterday at Naypyidaw’s Wunna Theikdi Sports Complex, finishing marginally but effectively last in the men’s 400m heat.

The cycling events held around the complex didn’t offer any cheer for Cambodia, with domestic champion rider Ngul Lech and his team-mate Keo Ratha struggling to match the pace of regional rivals in both Friday’s men’s mountain bike cross country race and yesterday’s men’s 50km individual time trial.

Thong Sokhamony carded a first round of 87 at the Royal Myanmar Golf Course in Naypyidaw yesterday to assume last place, 19 shots off joint leaders Danthai Boonma of Thailand and Gavin Kyle Green of Malaysia.

In the volleyball tournament at Naypyidaw’s Zayar Thiri Indoor Stadium, Cambodia suffered 3-0 shutouts to Myanmar on Friday and Thailand yesterday. They will wrap up their Pool A group stage with a game against Malaysia tomorrow.

In the same arena, Cambodia finished off their hard fought basketball campaign with a 84-48 capitulation to Indonesia yesterday. The loss, which was decided mainly by first and last quarter blitzes from their opponents, means the Kingdom will likely finish sixth in the seven-team table ahead of hosts Myanmar.

The Philippines clinched their 16th gold medal with a game to spare.

Cambodia’s bodybuilding beefcake Sok Sopheak fell agonisingly outsided the medals on Saturday in the men’s 60kg section at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Yangon, while team-mate Tek Bunvy came fifth in the men’s 70kg final.

Cambodia’s equestrian team of Hoy Sopharith, Lon Sopheaktra, Sor Puthminea and Sim Narith failed to add to their growing reputation by finishing last out of six nations in the team dressage final at the Wunna Theikdi Equestrian Field in Naypyidaw on Friday.

Sor Puthminea on Myanmar A Hla came 11th and Sim Narith on Gunderman came 12th in individual dressage on Saturday.

And finally, some quite outrageous scenes at the Yangon Hockey Field saw the Cambodian women’s team lose 36-0 (a reported new world record for an international match) to Malaysia on Saturday. This most
riotous of routs had come after a 26-0 drubbing on Friday.

Cambodia will play Indonesia today, Singapore tomorrow and Myanmar on Thursday.

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