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Cambodia’s medal winners back on SEA Games shortlist

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Cambodian petanque player Ouk Sreymom won gold at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. Petanque is back on the list of disciplines awaiting approval for the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines. Sreng Meng Srun

Cambodia’s medal winners back on SEA Games shortlist

The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia’s determined bid to get petanque, tennis and vovinam, left out of the initial list of disciplines, included in the competitive programme for the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines has met with partial success, with Southeast Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) Sport and Rules Committee now adding them to the list of 56 sports to be presented for final approval by the Council on November 24.

The Kingdom’s most productive medal-earning sport, petanque, along with vovinam and tennis were left out of the initial list of 30 preferred sports, causing great concern among their national federations

According to the secretary-general of the NOCC, Vath Chamroeun, who returned to Phnom Penh on Monday after attending the panel’s two day meeting in Manila, the host nation accepted the Kingdom’s proposal, with the caveat that the inclusion of these three disciplines would be subject to final approval.

“I am confident our efforts to get tennis, petanque and vovinam on board will succeed, but it is now completely in the hands of the Council,” Vath Chamroeun said.

Current world champion

Last month, Cambodia’s female petanque players took home three golds from the 2nd Trophee L’Equipe Petanque international competition in France. Ouk Sreymom and Ke Leng won gold at the last SEA Games in Malaysia in 2017.

Sreymom is the current women’s world champion.

While Cambodia has scooped multiple gold medals from petanque and has produced world champions in the sport over the past few years, vovinam has also contributed to golden glory, most recently collecting 29 medals – six gold, eight silver and 15 bronze – at the 5th Southeast Asian Vovinam Championships in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in August.

Cambodia also won 22 medals, including four gold, at the 5th World Vovinam Championship in New Delhi, India, where they finished third among the 45 countries taking part.

Tennis hasn’t missed a SEA Games medal since the 2007 Games in Thailand, bar 2013 when Myanmar for the first time in Games history dropped it, only for it to be restored by Singapore in 2015, with Malaysia retaining it last year in Kuala Lumpur.

After the meeting last week end at the Conrad Hotel in Manila, netball and handball also found favour, making it to the list of 56 disciplines approved at the meeting chaired by Philippines Olympic Committee Sport and Rules chairman and Congressman Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

The 30th SEA Games are to be held from November 30 to December 10 next year, and if the Executive and Council approves the current list in its full form, the Philippines would create a new SEA Games record of holding the highest number of events in the history of the biennial games, first held in the Thai capital Bangkok in 1959.

The formal countdown to the Games will start with ceremonies on November 30 at the New Clark city in Capas, Tarlac.

In the list to be submitted are athletics, aquatics, achery, badminton, basketball, billiards, bowling, boxing, chess, cycling, dance sports, equestrian/polo, indoor hockey, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey.

Also included are ice skating, judo, karatedo, modern pentathlon, muay, pencak silat, rowing, rugby 7s, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting, softball, soft tennis, squash, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, traditional boat racing,
triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, wushu, petanque and surfing.

As well as these 44, there are 12 sports in Category 3: arnis – the national sport and martial art of the Philippines – e-sports, jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, kurash – Central Asian wrestling – lawn bowls, obstacle course, floorball, sambo, skateboarding, underwater hockey and Vietnamese martial art vovinam.

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