As the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) evaluates the historical evidence Cambodia has provided in support of its appeal to declare bokator as an intagible heritage asset, the martial art won plaudits at the International World Martial Arts Festival, which concluded in the South Korean city of Chungju on Sunday.
Two of the Kingdom’s bokator practitioners, fighting in tandem, won silver in the annual festival that encompassed various styles of martial arts pursued in as many as 39 countries.
Sam Tharoth and Hort Senghorn struck a great partnership to defeat the highly rated fighters from Uzbekistan before beating the Brazilian capoeira artists to make the grand final where the traditional powerhouse South Korea subdued the Cambodian pair.
“It was a fantastic sight to see our Bokator warriors brings us glory at a time when we are pursuing our case for World Heritage Asset status with the help of the World Martial Arts Union’’ said the secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, Vath Chamroeun.
“It is a grand advertisement for bokator, and we in Cambodia take so much pride.
This performance will not only enhance the merit of bokator but also raise its appeal among youngsters to get into the increasingly popular mainstream mixed martial arts’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Cambodian Bokator Federation in association with the NOCC will organise the National Bokator Championships starting today at the Taekwondo Center in the Olympic Stadium complex.
Prominent fighters from various provinces will be seen in action during the three-day event.