Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom’s golden heroes to receive $20K




Kingdom’s golden heroes to receive $20K

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Jessa Khan of Cambodia’s celebrates after beating Mahra Alhinaai to win gold at the 2018 Asian Games on August 24. AFP

Kingdom’s golden heroes to receive $20K

In the days of celebration following the historic successes of 16-year-old Jessa Khan and 26-year-old Ou Moeut Saly in disciplines the Asian Games had never included in 17 previous editions, Cambodia’s sporting image had been burnished as never before.

The Kingdom had to wait for more than six decades to land gold in the continental event until Incheon 2014. But four years later and there are now at least two gold medals and a bronze coming home.

While thanking Prime Minister Hun Sen for his unwavering support to Cambodian sport, Jet Ski Federation president Nos Sles said he is determined to turn Saly’s gold into a lasting legacy so that Cambodia’s success on the sport’s Asiad debut can be built on.

“Our federation is just a year old. In that limited amount of time we have done everything humanly possible to get the best results and I am glad we were able to achieve such success,” Sles said.

“We have hired specialist mechanics from abroad and are fortunate to have a top-line coach like Chris Talakouras of Australia helping us.

“More than that, we had two riders whose commitment, discipline, attention to detail and hunger for learning were never in question.”

Until now, jet skiing to many was more of a fun show on the waterfront during either River or Sea Festivals and was never really thought of as a serious medal-winning prospect.

It is this striking transformation that will have made the sport a more thrilling and lucrative draw for Cambodian youth to pursue in the future.

‘Beyond compare’

“Khan’s success was a huge sensation because of her age and the courage and confidence she carried with her,” said National Olympic Committee of Cambodia general-secretary Vath Chamroeun.

“We are as much proud of her Cambodian lineage as she is of realising her dream of representing her motherland.

“She might have been born in Texas and trained in California, but when she sported our national colours her heart and soul were firmly with Cambodia. For such a young girl to have shown so much determination in a physically demanding sport like Brazilian Ju-jitsu, it is a performance beyond compare.

“It is our responsibility to safeguard the treasures Jessa Khan and Saly have brought us and keep our hold on these two disciplines by boosting their federations’ efforts in spreading interest among the younger generation.”

In line with the government’s sub-decree on rewarding outstanding performance on the international, continental and regional stages, including the Olympics, Asian Games, SEA Games, world championships and international meets, a gold medal winner will be guaranteed $20,000, silver $10,000 and bronze $6,000.

But with almost ritualistic regularity, Prime Minister Hun Sen has always opened his own wallet to reward these performances with substantial cash packets over the years. These Games will undoubtedly be no different.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,