THE National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) announced Wednesday the formation of the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee, to be chaired by NOCC Vice Presidrnt Bun Sok, who is also secretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
The committee consists of representatives of various Olympic sports federations and will be responsible for final screening and selection of athletes to represent Cambodia at the Southeast Asian Games in Laos in December.
Nhan Sokvisal, the SEA Games coordinator, stated Cambodia is looking to better their medals haul from the last SEA Games in Thailand in 2007. “We won two gold, five silver and 12 bronze medals in the last games, and so we want to improve on that,” he said.
According to Nhan Sokvisal, Cambodia will contest in 17 sports, with expectations of medals in petanque, athletics, tennis, wrestling, boxing, taekwondo and beach volleyball.
As part of the preparation for December, the athletics and taekwondo athletes have travelled to Korea to undergo intensive training courtesy of the Incheon City of Korea Support Programme, while other athletes will complete training in Vietnam.
“We have a goal, and our goal is to win more medals than we have done before,” Nhan Sokvisal stated. “To do this, we have to prepare hard, and provide adequate training and support for our athletes.
“We may not be as good as Thailand, Vietnam or Singapore because they have better trainers, equipment and diet regime than we do,” he continued. “But we will try to compete with them. They have foreign coaches and trainers, but we use our local coaches. Their athletes have more energy, but we are preparing our athletes to be strong, too.”
Meanwhile, the SEA Games organising committee has announced the cancellation of 13 categories in selected events, affecting sports such as karate-do, wushu sanshou, pencaksilat, wrestling and weightlifting.
However, NOCC Secretary General Vath Chamroeun has assured that the Cambodian delegation has not been affected at all by the cuts. “There is no problem for us,” he said. “Our preparation is in progress.”