Cambodia’s Soun Davin (right) practices at the taekwondo hall of the National Sports Complex ahead of this week’s tournament. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN
THE high-profile 10th ASEAN Taekwondo Championships are set for a colourful opening ceremony at NagaWorld today as Cambodia plays host to an event of this size and significance for the first time.
With the exception of Myanmar, Timor Leste and Brunei, all member nations of the ASEAN community will be represented at this three-day event for men, women and juniors, who will vying for as many as 66 gold, silver and bronze medals involving team and individual categories.
A host of private sponsors are lending support to the Cambodian Taekwondo Federation and National Olympic Committee of Cambodia in organising the regional tournament with the active co-operation of the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Youth, Education and Sport.
Vietnam will be fielding the biggest delegation with 112 participants, followed by Cambodia with a squad of 57. The Philippines has 46 contenders, ahead of Singapore’s 25, Malaysia’s 13, Laos’ 12, Thailand’s 8 and Indonesia’s 8.
Before an elaborate opening ceremony at NagaWorld today at 4pm, the conventional Poomsae, or sequence of movements, for all events will be held from 2pm. A parade of all participants will be followed by a blessing dance performance, leading to the official opening of the championships.
Among the dignitaries taking the stage are Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An, President of the NOCC and Minister of Tourism Dr Thong Khon and President of the Asian Taekwondo Federation Kriss Wiluan.
Tomorrow and Saturday sees action shift to the National Sports Complex for the combative Gyeorugi competitions.
“We are really excited to stage a championship of this stature for the first time,” Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Vath Chamroeun told The Post on Tuesday. “This is some kind of a stern test for our management skills as to where we stand if we were to stage bigger events.
“It is not just a sports show for us this time. We are
bringing in various federal agencies like transport, education, tourism, health, and the municipality to see how best they can co-ordinate their responses.
This is a sort of a dress rehearsal for huge multi-discipline events like the SEA Games we plan to host in the future,” the NOCC Secretary General added.