Cambodia are set to welcome world class petanque players from across the globe as they host the Women’s and Junior Petanque World Championships at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium from the November 17 to 24.
Petanque, a French game in which players aim to throw their boules closest to a target ball, was introduced to the countries of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos – then French Indochina – over one hundred years ago during the colonial era.
While the French colonial era ended in 1953, the game of petanque remains popular among Cambodians today, with the Kingdom still producing players competing at the highest level.
While Cambodian players have only enjoyed moderate success on the international stage, as of June 2016 the Kingdom was ranked in the world top 10 with a total of eight medals at the Petanque World Championships, across both the men’s and women’s game.
Arguably Cambodia’s most well-known players are women Keo Leng and Ouk Sreymom. Leng has been dominant in petanque’s precision shooting category, snagging three gold medals since 2013 at different World Championships.
They also paired-up in the doubles category for the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, in which they beat their Thai counterparts in the final to secure a gold medal.
Cambodia’s petanque team will be looking to build on recent successes as they host the tournament come November.
In preparation for next month’s tournament, petanque competitions began on Monday at Olympic Stadium.
The three-day tournament, which concluded on Wednesday, proved to be a prime opportunity to gauge Cambodia’s in-form players prior to the World Championships.