Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Aussie swimmer offers boost to Cambodian national team




Aussie swimmer offers boost to Cambodian national team

Aussie swimmer offers boost to Cambodian national team

111216_21
Australia-born swimmer Bethany Robertson could be a future star of the Cambodian national swimming team and represent the Kingdom in international competitions.

Australian-born Bethany Robertson could become the latest addition to Cambodia’s burgeoning ranks of foreign based athletes that make themselves available for international competitions. The 16-year-old Victoria state and national champion swimmer, who is currently attending Genazzano FCJ College in the Melbourne suburb of Kew, has indicated an interest to represent her ancestral homeland rather than her country of residence.

Born to a Cambodian mother and Australian father, Robertson has taken part in over 40 domestic championships. Her father John is the President of Surrey Park Swimming Club, where Bethany trains and is captain of the team. He recently made enquiries to the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia over her eligibility to swim for the Kingdom.

John Robertson noted his daughter’s remarkable record in state championships, especially in long distance events such as the 5km open water swim.

In response to Robertson’s inquiry, NOCC Secretary General Vath Chamroeun said he was delighted to have more foreign based Cambodian athletes willing to represent the country providing they proved ability to earn medals.

“We welcome Khmer athletes based abroad if they meet the standard expected of them. We have to check her records against the top athletes at the last SEA Games and if she has good timing, we would be happy to invite her,” he said.

Secretary General of Cambodian Swimming Federation Hem Thon saw immediate potential in the young Melbourne resident after some quick analysis of her records and  echoed confidence that she would be a strong prospect for the future.

“She should be able to make it into the national team. Its unfortunate that we discovered her too late. Her personal best in the long distance could have earned her a gold in the last SEA Games,” he said.

“We will be having about four championships next year and would extend an invitation to her to try out. Should she be good enough, we would be happy to have her in the team for the future SEA Games, Asian Games and probably Olympics.”

Bethany’s came first in both the 5km and 10km races for U16 Girls at this year’s Australian Open Water Championships, and she also made the Australian National Youth Squad. Her current personal best in open water 5km is 1.01:00, while 10km is 2.09:00.

The London Olympics next year will feature just the 10km open water event, with the majority of the 25 qualification places taken at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai and the 2012 Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Setúbal, Portugal.

Keri-Anne Payne of Great Britain won the women’s 10km event in Shanghai in a time of 2:01:58.  

On December 31, Cambodia will host its first open water swimming event over 5km as part of the inaugural Sea Festival in Sihanoukville.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial