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Curtain comes down on National Games

Competitors wave to the crowd during the athletes procession at the closing ceremony of the inaugural 2016 Cambodian National Games at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Competitors wave to the crowd during the athletes procession at the closing ceremony of the inaugural 2016 Cambodian National Games at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday. Sreng Meng Srun

Curtain comes down on National Games

The inaugural National Games ended on Saturday evening with a spectacular closing ceremony featuring a laser show, fireworks, traditional cultural treats and music at the Olympic Stadium.

The nearly two-hour show was watched by Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany in the company of several cabinet ministers and a myriad of high-ranking government officials, highlighting the significance attached to the biggest nationally coordinated sporting events in Cambodia’s history.

In his remarks, Tourism Minister and president of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia Thong Khon said the successful completion of the week-long, 15-discipline event marked the Kingdom’s march towards the hosting of the 2023 SEA Games.

A breathtaking laser show and colourful fireworks lit up the evening as highlights of the games flashed on the giant screen. Singer Khemearak Sereymon further lifted spirits with a couple of popular numbers.

On the competition front, Davis Cup pivot Bun Kenny, a bronze medallist at the SEA Games in Singapore last year, confirmed his status as the undisputed No1 by winning the Games men’s singles title.

In the final, Kenny easily defeated his Cambodian national teammate Long Samneang, 6-2, 6-1.

While Kenny and his partner Our Sarith suffered semifinal defeat in the doubles, Long Samneang and Yi Kearvirak went on to claim the title, beating in straight sets brothers Pil Vanny and Pil Vanna, the sons of Pil Oum, one of only three surviving tennis players from the nearly 40 elite players killed during the Khmer Rouge era.

Rin Sotheary and Yi Sarsarith took the mixed doubles, beating Dan Sambath and Meth Mariyan 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

The Ministry of Interior won the men’s basketball championship, beating Siem Reap 63-61 in the final.

Siem Reap crossed over with a six-point, 33-27 lead at half-time, but a strong finishing effort by the Ministry helped them close out the contest with something to spare.

In the women’s final, Stung Treng got the better of Ministry of Interior 66-59 after being down 29-33 at half-time.

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