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First medal for Cambodia

091210_23a
Cambodian taekwondo athlete Cheat Khemara competes in his men’s kata event at Booyong Gymnasium, Vientiane, on Wednesday. AFP

The Kingdom’s Cheat Khemara took bronze in the men’s individual Taekwondo kata Wednesday, but says he should have done better

VIENTIANE
CAMBODIA claimed its first medal of the 25th SEA Games in Vientiane on Wednesday, with Cheat Khemara taking bronze in the men’s individual Taekwondo kata event at the Booyong Gymnasium.

However, the athlete was said to be disappointed with the result, as he’d been aiming for the gold medal. The kata discipline demonstrates movements from the taekwondo martial art, with scores awarded for fluidity and good technique.

With both third- and fourth-placing competitiors receiving bronze medals in taekwondo events, Cheat Khemara scored a total of 15.87 points, which was enough to share the bronze position with Indonesia’s Daniel Danny, who scored 16.07. Myanmar’s San Shein Thet grabbed silver with 16.10 points, and Soukthavy Panyasith claimed host nation Laos’ first gold medal with a score of 16.63 points.

In the women’s individual kata event, Cambodia’s Ngy Sreyvin struggled to match the quality of her opponents, finishing fifth and outside the medals. Her score of 16.01 was beaten by bronze medalists Lessitra Draningrati from Indonesia on 16.23 and Lee Jeng Yen from Malaysia on 16.47. Kidavone Philavong took silver for Laos with 16.66, while Myanmar’s Ya Min K-Khine grabbed gold with a stunning 16.93.

In the mixed pair kata event, Cambodia and Malaysia were left off the podium, while Myanmar and Philippines took away bronzes, Thailand snatched silver, and Vietnam stormed to the gold medal.

Cambodia did not participate in the men’s team event, which Vietnam won, or the women’s team event, which the Philippines won.

“We knew well our limitations,” said Cambodia coach Choi Yongsok from South Korea. “I’m very sorry that some of my talented athletes were suffering from injury. We showed a lack of experience, but my athletes tried their best anyway. They are so young compared to other opponents. My students trained in Korea, and competed in only one competition before coming to SEA Games.

“We’ve only just started training, while other countries have practiced this sport for a long time, especially Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia. However, I think that Cambodia are a similar level to Laos and Myanmar. Now, we’re thinking about the next competitions. We still have hope.”

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