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Gold hero Saly mulls jet ski foundation

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Cambodia’s Asian Games jet ski gold medallist Ou Moeut Saly poses with his medals with Australian coach Chris Talakouras. Photo supplied

Gold hero Saly mulls jet ski foundation

Cambodia’s ski modified jet ski gold medallist Ou Moeut Saly has set his sights on opening a foundation to help generations of adventurous, watersports-loving youth to pursue the fast paced and exciting sport.

The shy 26-year-old, who is now a national hero in Cambodia after his two-medal joust in Jakarta told National Olympic Committee of Cambodia advisor Ken Gadaffi in an NOCC Olympic Channel interview that it was too early to talk specifics at this stage, but his ultimate goal was to set up a body to help future generations.

Crediting his success to the excellent back-up team of expert technicians and riders from Thailand and Australia in his hectic preparations, Saly said the reality of the golden strike was just beginning to sink in and that he was feeling far more relaxed.

“I was a bit tense during those competition stages. Now that I have at least one gold and one bronze I am much more relaxed,” Saly told presenter Ken Gadaffi, who pointedly asked him about his emotional state before, during and after the competition.

“In a world event I managed to get two golds and one bronze before, and [in Indonesia] I expected more than one gold and at least another silver. I am sorry I could not do it,” he said with humility.

But the talented rider made it known that he felt a lot easier competing at the Games than in other international events as he was up against Asia rather than the whole world.

‘A better future’

The gold medallist acknowledged the tactical and technical expertise that his coach Chris Talakouras of Australia provided him throughout the campaign, as well as the help and support he received from the Flamingo Ski Team managed by the Australian.

“Good preparation was the key, and we felt on top of our game from the start. It was amazing to see the entire country rally around the competitors and it is now up to the authorities here to turn this popularity into greater achievements,” Talakouras said.

“I will do whatever I can to help spread the sport, and I am confident that with Saly’s success and the sensation he has created we can create a better future for the sport in Cambodia.”