Cambodia triumphantly passed the gold mark set at the previous SEA Games in Indonesia, with petanque legend Ke Leng topping the podium in women’s shooting yesterday in Myanmar.
The Kampong Chhnang native, whose glittering career includes two silvers and two bronzes at past SEA Games tournaments as well as three successive golds in women’s shooting at the Asian Championships and victory in this year’s Women’s World Championships, was in blistering form in the pits of Naypyidaw.
She dispatched Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Thi 36-13 with balls to spare in the semi-finals before steamrolling Potjanaseni Pawinee of Thailand 36-16 in the final.
Ke Leng’s team-mate Dy Sopanha grabbed bronze in men’s shooting yesterday to move the Kingdom’s overall total to five golds, seven silvers and 13 bronzes.
At time of print, Thailand had everyone in their wake with a tally of 64 golds, compared to second-placed Vietnam on 47 and Indonesia on 44. Hosts Myanmar had dropped to fourth with 42 event titles.
Across town at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium, both of Cambodia’s athletics representatives at last year’s London Olympics fell short in their races.
Sprinter Chan Seyha finished fifth out of six in her women’s 100m heat with a time of 12.75 seconds, nearly a second slower than winner Neeranuch Klomdee of Thailand.
Middle-distance runner Kieng Samorn was similarly outclassed in the men’s 800m, crossing the line in 1:55:17 to come seventh out of nine. It was exactly two seconds slower than his personal best achieved two years ago at the SEA Games in Palembang.
Cambodia ended an arduous group phase of the men’s volleyball competition with a 3-1 loss to Malaysia. The result saw them finish bottom of Group A, having lost both of their earlier games 3-0 to Thailand and Myanmar at the Zaya Thiri Indoor Stadium in Naypyidaw.
Thailand advanced as group winners and will face either Vietnam or Laos, who play each other in a crucial concluding Group B clash today, in Friday’s semi-finals. Myanmar and Indonesia will contest the other semi-final, with bronze medal match and grand final slated for Saturday.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHHORN NORN