Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia’s carom billiards star blazing world trail

Cambodia’s carom billiards star blazing world trail

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Srong Pheavy, from Suong town in Tboung Khmum province, started playing carom billiards after moving to South Korea and has gone on to win 35 medals worldwide. Sruong Pheavy via facebook

Cambodia’s carom billiards star blazing world trail

Beyond Cambodian sport fanatics Srong Pheavy is little known in the Kingdom, but she has made a name for herself in South Korea, where she has won no less than 35 medals in carom billiards.

The sport is played with a cue and three balls on a pocketless table, points being scored by a player causing the cue ball to “carom” from one object ball to another.

Pheavy arrived in South Korea in 2011 after marrying the local owner of a small publishing company in Geongju.

Born in Kampong Cham’s Suong district, which is now a town in Tboung Khmum province, Pheavy learned nothing about the sport in her childhood and only took it up a year after moving to South Korea.

“My husband said that if I played this sport, I would become popular and could help other people,” Pheavy said.

“I paid about $300 every month for coaching and I practised for three years. Then tried to improve my game by myself by competing in several clubs.

“Later on I started entering competitions and I was really proud to be the first Cambodian woman to play the sport,” Pheavy added during an interview with The Post in Seoul on Thursday, where she was attending the three-day “Asean-South Korea Train” tour.

In 2015, she travelled to the US for the first time to represent Cambodia in a tournament in New York.

Most recently, she has just returned from Spain where she won the bronze medal in the Ladies Three-cushion Carom Billiards World Championships in Valencia.

“When I walked out with the Cambodian flag before the game, only a few people knew me. But they know more about me and Cambodia now,” Pheavy said.

Her success is the result of much effort and no shortage of courage. Pheavy’s first brave act was to fly to South Korea without speaking the language, and it was her adventurous spirit that led to her marrying a Korean man.

“I believe in my struggle to tackle all obstacles, where some people would choose a simple life and give up when they encounter problems. But I chose to overcome them,” she said.

Pheavy’s aim is for Cambodians to grow to love the sport as the Korean people do.

“I see myself in the middle between Korea and Cambodia. I think I’m a role model for Cambodian women who marry foreigners. I want to be respected and valuable to both countries,” she said.

Besides carom, Pheavy involves herself with charity and social work. She has brought donations from South Korea to help poor people and children in the Kingdom, including medicine and 1,000 pairs of shoes donated by banks and corporations in the Republic.

“What we are proud of is that she is a Cambodian woman who married a Korean guy but maintains her identity as Cambodian – not taking on a Korean one.

“When she wins a championship, she raises the Cambodian flag, not Korea’s,” said Cambodian ambassador to South Korea Long Dimanche.

Dimanche said the embassy had provided Pheavy great help and support in South Korea and made it possible to establish a carom billiards federation in Cambodia, which has enabled her to compete in international events.

“We will continue to support her in every way possible,” he said.


  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 people have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly nearly 200 passengers out of Cambodia. The petition is targeted at 15,000 people. Most of the passengers are British nationals, who are stranded in Cambodia after airlines cancelled

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman