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Asian olympic council chief: ‘SEA Games will be great’

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Raja Randhir Singh, acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), discusses with Prime Minister Hun Sen during the opening ceremony of the 41st Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) General Assembly kicked off on October 4. SPM

Asian olympic council chief: ‘SEA Games will be great’

Raja Randhir Singh, acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), expressed his confidence in Cambodia, saying that he expected the historic 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to be a great event. He also believes that the Kingdom will host the Asian Games in the future.

After attending the 41st OCA General Assembly, held in Phnom Penh from October 1-5, Singh has clearly seen Cambodia’s progress and its dedication to its preparations for hosting the 2023 SEA Games and the ASEAN Para Games. He met face-to-face with Prime Minister Hun Sen before the two addressed the OCA General Assembly on October 4.

Singh praised the Kingdom’s well-organised preparations for hosting the assembly, saying Cambodia has “won the hospitality competition”.

Representatives from 45 sports institutions from Asia and International Olympic Committee observers from 10 other countries were very pleased by the friendliness of the Cambodian people, he noted.

Singh commended Hun Sen for his strong interest in the development of sports and the revitalisation of the Olympic movement in Cambodia. He said he was surprised at the scale of the sporting infrastructure Cambodia had built, especially the Morodok Techo National Stadium, adding that this will help the country to host a successful SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games next year.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen is very supportive of sports. I visited the national stadium, which is huge and has a capacity of 60,000. It is a beautiful stadium – even the area around the stadium is beautiful,” said the acting OCA chief.

“It is less than one year before Cambodia will host its first SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, and it looks like you are ready to welcome the region. I think both events will be well organised,” he added.

Singh said hosting the SEA Games will inspire young people, many of whom will want to participate in future events, so he is sure the event will run smoothly.

In addition to hosting the 2023 SEA Games and the 2029 Asian Youth Games in Phnom Penh, Singh expressed a strong belief that Cambodia has the capacity to host the Asian Games in the future.

“In 2029, you will host the Asian Youth Games, which is within the scope of Cambodia’s organisational capacity. I believe that in the future, Cambodia could also host the Asian Games. Why not? I believe in Cambodia’s ability.

“If Cambodia can successfully host the SEA Games, then the Asian Youth Game, it can also host the Asian Games. The number of athletes will increase, but there will be better coaches, better sports equipment, and the increased participation in events will increase efficiency,” he said.

At the OCA assembly, Hun Sen urged the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), especially the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), to increase cooperation with the OCA and other international institutions so as to develop the level of Cambodian athletes. He also called on OCA member countries to support Cambodia to make its organisation of the SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games a success.

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