Cambodia is this year sending two ultimate frisbee teams to Bangkok for the fast-growing sport’s Mekong Cup, an international tournament hosted annually by one of the Lower Mekong countries.
Last year, in Ho Chi Minh City, Cambodia’s sole team was knocked out in the quarterfinals, but player Sok Heng is confident they’ll go further this year. “I am very excited. I can’t wait. I think we’ll do better this year as we have more players,” she said.
Each of the teams will have an experienced Western captain and a younger Cambodian co-captain. Captain Jared Cahners’ team Cambodia Klang (Strong Cambodia) are in the same pool as Singaporean two-time champions Spartans, but he is upbeat.
“Our Cambodian players are very excited to showcase their skills on an international stage. This tournament is the culmination of the hard work they’ve put in over the past year, and we in the Cambodian ultimate community are very confident that our opponents and spectators will be very impressed by what our players can do on the field.”
In attempt to further impress spectators, both teams will be decked out in new kits made by local, socially responsible sports apparel manufacturer Raytecs, who recently opened a factory in Phnom Penh.
The tournament this weekend will host sides from Guam, Singapore, Malaysia, together with the Mekong region countries. Teams are made up of both men and women.
Romina de Jong, founder and organiser of Bee Force ultimate clinics for women and captain of team Cambodia Chlat (Intelligent Cambodia), is pleased with the composition of the teams. “Both teams have a mix of Cambodians and Westerners who have played together for a while. Even better, both teams have a Cambodian co-captain.”
The Cambodian co-captain of Cambodia Chlat, Va Vutha, is determined to impress on the field.
“This will be my first time playing a tournament in Bangkok, but I will do my best – and I will definitely lay out!” he said, referring to a spectacular move in ultimate that involves diving to catch or block the disc.