Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hem Bunting in the docks

Hem Bunting in the docks

Hem Bunting in the docks

One of the Kingdom’s most successful long distance runners Hem Bunting is facing serious charges of indiscipline on and off the track at the recent Guangzhou Asian Games, prompting the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia to open a detailed enquiry.

The NOCC Disciplinary Committee is awaiting a report from the Leader of the Cambodian delegation at the games over specific complaints that Hem Bunting brought disrepute to the spirit of the competition by deliberately dropping out of the marathon early, failing to start for the 10,000 and staying away from both the opening and closing ceremonies without official sanction.

The 25-year-old Bunting, who is the only Cambodian to win the Angkor Wat Half marathon, is also said to have left China for home on his own without seeking permission.

The running specialist, who has represented the country in several international events, picked up a silver medal in the Men’s Marathon and a bronze in the 5,000m at the 2007 SEA Games in Bangkok. He is generally regarded as the Kingdom’s best distance runner.

“Bunting’s actions were tantamount to behaviour unbecoming of a true sportsman and disrespectful to the national spirit,” said NOCC General Secretary Vath Chamroeun. “We are contemplating action once we get the report from the head of our delegation. It will be placed before the Athletics Federation first and will also be taken up by the NOCC.”

The athlete, for his part, has so far been silent on his version of events. Hem Bunting’s coach Phy Sok, who refused to be drawn into a discussion, said while he was at a loss to explain the athlete’s actions, he was convinced that it would be very difficult to find another runner of his class and capability.

“We do not know what exactly he was thinking or [why he] ended up doing what he did unless he himself comes up with an explanation,” added Vath Chamroeun. The NOCC argument is that, no matter how big an athlete might be, indiscipline of any sort would never be condoned.

In other local sports news, Cambodia is sending both of its Guangzhou Asian Games beach volleyball teams to the 2nd Asian Beach Games in Muscat, Oman held from December 8 to 16. The players include Mon Rom, Nget Sothearith, Samath Vannsak and Taing Mengheak. The Cambodian teams mustered just a single victory over Timor Leste in the group phase of their competition in Guangzhou.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Battambang artist brings giant animals to life

    The giant reptile’s gaping mouth appears ready to consume its latest victim. It stands taller than a person and is incredibly life-like with authentic colours, a long spiky tail and detailed scales adorning its entire body. If it wasn’t 13m long, you may

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen