Cambodia’s desperate search for gold at the SEA Games met with success at Jakarta’s Sunter Sports Centre yesterday when Ly Boramy produced a cameo performance in the vovinam category he has always excelled – single man without weapon. Displaying some of his best fighting instincts in crunch situations, Ly Boramy, who celebrated his 25th birthday last week, emerged at the top of the heap with 278 points to grab Cambodia’s first gold medal from the 26th edition of the biennial mega event.
Vietnam’s Tran Cong Tao with 273 points picked up the silver while the bronze went to Indonesia’s I Made Poranmaya on 269 points.
With accolades for his outstanding feat pouring in from all corners of the Kingdom, Ly Boramy, for whom a US$15,000 bonanza awaits back home, could well extend his golden streak when he unleashes himself in the men’s attacking by leg class as well as figuring in the multi weapon fights involving mixed pairs.
Cambodia also opened their silver medal account yesterday when Tin Pheap lost to Vo Nguyen Linh of Vietnam in the final of the men’s 55kg vovinam combat. In the semifinals, Tin Pheap had beaten Kadek Dwi Dharmadi of Indonesia.
The men's attacking by leg team claimed another silver for the Kingdom, while Pal Chhorraksmy added a third in single women weapon. Mao Monita took bronze in women's 50kg.
In taekwondo, Cambodia scooped up a bronze medal, their third so far at the POPKI Sport Hall, after Chhoeung Puthearim went down to Indonesia’s Siska Permata Sari in the women’s bantamweight semifinals. On the way up, Chhoeung Puthearim easily got the measure of East Timor’s Aida Lemos.
Earlier, Cambodia’s Phon Virak had gone down gamely to Jose Anthony Soria of the Philippines in the semifinals to bring home a taekwondo bronze medal in men’s middleweight. Superior technique carried the day for the Filipino even as Phon Virak put up a stiff fight all the way.
In today’s action, Cambodia’s brightest stars are set to shine with Sorn Davin getting down to fight Indonesia’s Catur Yuri Riyanin in the women’s middleweight semifinals while Chhoy Bouthorn squares off against Jerranat Nakaviraj of Thailand in the men’s flyweight quarterfinals.
At the tennis courts of Palembang’s Jakabaring Sport Complex yesterday, hosts Indonesia stormed into the men’s team final following their 2-0 victory over Cambodia. However, misfortune struck Cambodia’s top player Bun Kenny just when he was poised for a sensational upset against Indonesian No 1 Christopher Rungkat in the first singles rubber.
Playing to his known best, Kenny wrapped up the first set 6-3 in under 40 minutes, a remarkable turnaround against an opponent to whom he had lost several times before.
But at the start of the second set, Kenny was struck by full body cramps, as serious as the one he had suffered a year ago at a Futures event in Thailand. A visibly distraught Kenny pulled out of the contest.
In the second singles rubber, Orn Sambath proved no match for Indonesian No 2 Albert Sidh who won 6-2, 6-2 without extending himself. Cambodia ensured themselves the bronze medal after beating Laos 2-1 on Sunday.
“It was rather unfortunate. I had not seen Kenny play better than this when he took the first set then the cramps took over,” said national coach Braen Aneiros. “I hope he recovers in time for the men’s singles [event] starting on Wednesday.”
According to Tennis Federation of Cambodia Secretary General Tep Rithivit, Bun Kenny has gone through a medical evaluation and is expected to be fit and well after some rest. “It had happened to him before. The reason could be anything. We are getting him thoroughly examined and I hope there is nothing serious. This setback apart, the team has brought us our first medal and we have to acknowledge that,” said the Secretary General.
The only note of cheer on an otherwise disappointing day at the 26th SEA Games for Cambodia was Patrick Tom’s inspired round of golf as he kept his chances of a medal alive at the Jagorawi Country Club in Jakarta yesterday. The 24-year-old, with a first round of 73, was three shots off the pace set by joint leaders Low Khai Jie of Malaysia and home favourite George G.
Cambodia’s second entry, 19-year-old Seng Vanseiha, drifted out to a score of 83. The second and the final round is set for a 7am tee off today.
At the Kelapa Gading Sports Mall yesterday, title favourites the Philippines powered their way to a convincing 127-68 victory over Cambodia in their Group A basketball fixture even as Thailand registered a 85-54 victory over Vietnam.
Hosts Indonesia proved too good for Cambodia in indoor volleyball, handing out the Kingdom’s spikers a 25-10, 25-22, 25-10 defeat at the University of Sriwijaya in Palembang.
Cambodia’s string of disappointing results on the track extended to the men’s 1500m finals when Kieng Samorn trotted in ninth out of 11 runners. Taking off from Lane 5, Kieng Samorn found the early pace too hot to handle and was beaten out of sight in 4:11.26.
In a needle finish, Indonesia’s Ridwan at 3:47.63 edged out Melvin M Guarie of the Phillipines by a fraction of a second with Mohd Jironi Riduan of Malaysia close behind in third.
Cambodia’s combination of Nay Saravey and Tang Hav made a winning start in the men’s table tennis competition yesterday with a first round victory over Da Silva Elias Aka and De Jesus Arasujo of Timor Leste 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8.
It turned out to be a bitter sweet Sunday for Cambodia on the petanque front. The 2007 and 2009 gold medallist Sok Chan Mean had to settle for a bronze this time in the men’s singles. But in the women’s singles, the highly rated Ouk Srey Mom returned with a rather disappointing card of three wins and two defeats to go out of the medal range.
The focus now shifts to the women’s doubles where the Duong Dina and Oum Chantrea began their round-robin campaign yesterday.