The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia have announced a completely new list of sports they will send athletes to compete in at the 3rd Asian Indoor Games
VIETNAM is busy preparing to host the third Asian Indoor Games (AIG). Featuring sports with TV broadcasting potential that are not included in the Asian Games and Winter Asian Games programs, and also some non-Olympic sports, the AIG will be held from October 30 to November 9.
Demonstration sports from the 2007 Games – 3-on-3 basketball, kurash and kickboxing – will be included in this year’s competition, as well as vovinam and pencak silat, two martial arts known to Vietnam, who are expected to have a lion share of the medals. The chosen demonstration sport this year is jujitsu, a martial art originating in Japan.
According to Touch Sopheak, National Olympic Committe of Cambodia (NOCC) staff member and games coordinator for the Cambodian AIG contingent, the Kingdom will now send 40 athletes and sports officials, 10 more than originally planned thanks to the support of Vietnam, who are providing logistic support for accommodation, transportation and food. “We will be competing in five events, namely Chinese chess, vovinam, aerobics, petanque and shuttle cock,” said Touch Sopheak.
The games coordinator said that these five sports were the only ones whose federations had completed registration forms sent to them by the NOCC.
The committee had previously planned to send delegates for table tennis, badminton, wrestling, judo, Futsal and indoor volleyball, but were forced to pull out. “Some of the events we intended to enter are not included in the games,” explained Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of the NOCC. “Besides, the [AIG] is not our top priority, so we are only sending high-performing athletes that are medal hopefuls.”
Cambodia’s best chance of medals comes in petanque and shuttle cock, a game similar to badminton but played with the feet. Sok Chamean won a gold medal in pentaque in men’s singles at the 2007 SEA Games held in Thailand. He then combined with Ok Chimi to grab gold in men’s doubles, while Ouk Sreymom and Ke Leng took silver in women’s doubles. Chea Sreymeas is a bronze medalist in shuttle cock.
The Cambodian shuttle cock team has already gone to Vietnam for training ahead of the games, while other delegates will depart via the Moc Bai border on October 28. They will split into two at the border, with one group travelling to Hanoi while the others head to Ho Chi Minh City for their respective events.
Touch Sopheak is optimistic of a good show from athletes at the tournament. “We hope to do well in this competition,” he said. “Our athletes have been training hard, so we are hoping to win in some of the events.”