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Letter: National championship?

Letter: National championship?

Dear Editor,

Re: the October 9 article "Cambodian Kickboxing Champs Swing into Action", I'd like to suggest some small clarifications.

It is my understanding that when the article was written it was true that no boxer from 7NG Ei Phouthang boxing club was registered for the National Championships. The situation and organisation of the Nationals were such that the number of slots reserved for Phnom Penh boxers were full, leaving no space for the Ei Phouthang club. This seems slightly absurd as among Ei Phouthang's boxers are his brother Auth Phouthang (an undisputed "great" in his own right who recently defeated Chey "Hanuman" Kosal) and the Kun Khmer Champion runner-up Ai Kosal.

As it was a clerical decision that prevented the Ei Phouthang club boxers from entering the National Titles, it was another clerical decision that has seen them, since, gain entry. Initially they were denied entry on the basis of being Phnom Penh boxers (Auth Phouthang, like his brother, is from Koh Kong and Ai Kosal is from Kratie), now they have been found slots by being registered, I believe, as Prey Veng boxers and filling the vacant slots assigned to that province.It appears that boxers are registered with the CABF as being from the same province as their clubs and not from that on their ID card.

While I realise the Cambodian Amateur Boxing Federation and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport are in the process of restructuring and, hopefully, improving the National Championships to guarantee they are truly national and, also hopefully, turn them into a world-class event to be taken notice of, I think it is possibly a step in the wrong direction to create quotas for each province. Such quotas will guarantee a national spread of boxers, but it does not automatically guarantee that the best boxers in the Kingdom will be present.

Surely a national championship should produce a National Champion who is indisputably the very best Kun Khmer boxer in the Kingdom in his weight division.

Aaron Leverton

Phnom Penh

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