A ninth grade student from CIA First International School, Tieng Kimleng, emerged as the winner of a writing contest yesterday to determine Cambodia’s young reporter heading to next year’s Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, under a program sponsored by the Olympic Council of Asia.
The bespectacled 16-year-old was picked from a short list of four after 37 students from various Phnom Penh schools had taken an essay/story writing assignment based on an address by Cambodia’s 2012 London Games Olympian swimmer Hem Thon Vitiny.
It took Jeremy Walker, editor of the OCA’s official newsletter Sporting Asia, close to three hours to assess all the 37 submissions and he eventually declared Tieng Kimleng as the winner.
“It was by no means easy,” Walker told the Post. “The other three in that final list were equally good. What clinched the prize for Kimleng was that he produced two direct quotes from Vitiny unlike the others, who had just made a mention of it.
“Those quotes turned an ordinary essay into a news story and I could sense that journalistic touch.”
Tieng Kimleng revealed that he had not expected to win.
“Some time ago when we were given similar writing assignments in school, I hadn’t done all that well but our teacher had told me then how to go about it when doing a news story. I kept that in mind when I was writing this one today,” he said.