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Wrestlers to fire up water festival

The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia has invited four reputed Japanese professional women wrestlers for a series of exhibition bouts in Phnom Penh during the Water Festival next month as part of its cultural education programme.

Releasing the names and the three-day itinerary of the visiting wrestlers, NOCC Secretary General Vath Chamroeun said it would be a rare opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people who flock to the capital for the festival to watch such world class sports personalities in action. The Japanese foursome of Kyoto Inone, Sato Ayako, Aono Keiko and Ito Kaolu, accompanied by their personal coaches and a team leader, will be performing at different venues during their November 19-22 visit.

The NOCC failed in their frantic attempt to bring in World Wrestling Entertainment superstar John Cena for the national holiday. However, Vath Chamroeun expressed his confidence that the wrestling icon and now Hollywood actor could still be one of the major attractions at a WWE event planned in Phnom Penh next year.

In his capacity as a member of the sports and rules committee of the 2011 SEA Games, which will be held in Indonesia, Vath Chamroeun was an invitee at a preview meeting in Jakarta earlier this month to consider proposals from member countries on new additions to the biennial event.

Japanese traditional martial arts Kempo has found its way as a medal sport after being approved by the committee, while Indonesia apparently
had a change of heart on golf and will now enlist the sport as one of the disciplines after initially being reluctant to include it.

An interesting proposal from Malaysia on the inclusion of cricket as a demonstration sport has now been taken up by the committee for consideration.

“Kempo is totally new to us but we can definitely field a golf team,” said the NOCC official. “It is good that Indonesia decided to include golf, which was a medal sport in the last edition in Laos.”

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