The lone Cambodian gold medalist in the 2015 World Vovinam Championships that concluded earlier this week in Algiers, Tin Pheap (right), who is also an accomplished Khun Khmer fighter with an alias San Rady, was given a rousing reception along with bronze winner Meut Ahmad (left) on their arrival in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.
Later, both Pheap and Ahmad were felicitated by none other than the sports-loving Prime Minister Hun Sen, who besides conferring honorary decorations on the two for their performances also handed to them his own personal cash award along with the government mandated bonanza for such acclaim.
Under the government’s sub-decree which guarantees cash rewards for outstanding sporting success on the international front, Pheap received 120 million riel ($30,000) while Ahmad got 64 million riel.
Hun Sen presented Pheap with $10,000 and Ahmad with $3,000, describing the vovinam success as another proud achievement following Sorn Seavmey’s taekwondo gold medal in the Incheon Asian Games, the first-ever for the country in 70 years and Ms Ke Leng’s gold medal in the 2013 Petanque World Championships.
Vovinam, a form of Vietnamese martial arts, was the most lucrative disicipline after Wrestling for Cambodia in terms of medals at the 2013 Myanmar Sea Games.
Much to the Kingdom’s disappointment, the organisers of the Singapore SEA Games this year, dropped vovinam from the schedule.