Cambodian taekwondo star Sorn Seavmey is set to step up her training intensity over the next few weeks to be fighting fit for a competitive fling at the Malaysian Open in March.
On her way to full recovery from knee surgery undergone in South Korea a couple of months ago, Seavmey has been going through her regimen at half-pace.
Seavmey’s long-time coach Choi Yong Sok, who has been training the 22-year-old sensation since her early teens, told The Post in an exclusive chat that the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifier and 2014 Asian and 2017 SEA Games gold medallist is now at about 50-60 percent of her normal fitness.
“She has taken the operation very well. Her mental toughness and eagerness to return to the mat have all helped her in getting back into action much faster than we had anticipated,” said South Korea’s Sok, who has made Phnom Penh his second home having served as a national coach for nearly two decades.
Long Korea training camp
“I don’t want to rush her but she will gradually increase the intensity of her training, and I hope she can perform well in Malaysia. I am also planning another event in Vietnam for her in the coming months.”
Retaining the gold medal Seavmey won at the Incheon Asian Games to end a seven-decade drought for the Kingdom is one of the key elements of the strategic plan unveiled by the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia during last week’s General Assembly.
With attention bound to be focused on her quest for further medal glory at the August 18-September 2 Asian Games in Jakarta, Choi Yong Sok said her absolute fitness would be a critical factor in her achieving success.
“I am also planning a couple of events for her to compete in before taking her to South Korea for at least three to four months at a long training camp running right up until the Jakarta Games.’’ Choi Yong Sok then urged caution. “It all depends on how well and how quickly she returns to her own former self,” he said.
But the coach is sparing no effort to see that she once again is the toast of the nation after having done it before in the past three years, with historic Incheon gold and Rio Games qualification, and her 2017 SEA Games gold in Kuala Lumpur.