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Olympic glory for martial arts star


The Cambodian delegation proudly played their part in the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games on Friday, none more so than the Kingdom’s first female flag-bearer, Sorn Davin.

The 20-year-old taekwondo star calmly and confidently carried her country’s flag around the track during the parade of nations, a memory she will cherish for life.

“I feel so happy to be at the Olympics and carry the flag,” Davin told the Post yesterday. “I think it is great that Cambodian athletes have the chance to compete in these Games.”

Despite a few nerves, the martial artist seemed to revel in her position at the head of the contingent, ending Cambodia’s chain of male flag-bearers from all seven of their previous Games.

Davin noted her favourite moment of the ceremony was the spectacular and ingenious lighting of the Olympic Cauldron by seven young athletes chosen by British Olympic legends. The 204 metal petals, representing each of the 204 National Olympic Committees, that rose together to form one massive flame was one of the best kept secrets from the public. ]

“It was a really smart idea,” added Davin.

The Cambodian, who has been training in England for the past five weeks, has now fully acclimatised to the unpredictable British summer.

“Before, I felt hot and cold. It was a bit difficult. But now, everything is fine,” she said. “I don’t miss home that much.”

The abundance of sports superstars in the Olympic Village offers ample distraction from matters such as homesickness.

“I recognise their faces, but I don’t know their names. I’ve taken many photos with them,” said Davin.

Sorn Davin, who at 5 foot 10 inches (1.78 metres) towers over most of her fellow Cambodian athletes including the men, has been entered in the women’s over-67kg taekwondo event.

The competition will be held on August 11 at the ExCel Centre, with the draw announced a couple of days prior.

Davin is still recovering from a wrist injury sustained during the SEA Games in Jakarta last year, where she won a silver medal, but said it was not a problem.

“I don’t know if I can win [a match], but I will try my best for my country, for my people and for myself.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Riley at reporting from London
With assistance from Nuon Sokha



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