The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia is laying out a strategic plan to cover the next four years, targeting more gold medals than ever before from this August’s SEA Games in Malaysia, retention of taekwondo sensation Sorn Seavmey’s historic first Asian Games gold medal in Jakarta next year and a minimum of three Olympic qualification slots in combat sports for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The plan, which also pivots towards advanced training and human resources development, will be placed for approval before the annual General Assembly of NOCC which will be held on March 21.
Speaking with The Post yesterday, the secretary-general of the NOCC, Vath Chamroeun, said the plan had been meticulously drawn keeping in perspective the achievements of the Kingdom’s athletes in major regional and international events over the past few years.
“We are greatly encouraged by the overwhelming success of a similar plan we put in place in 2013. We met all our aims we had set out for, including the country’s first Asian Games gold medal in Incheon after a long and painful wait of nearly seven decades,” he said.
“We did well in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games. Sorn Seavmey did the country proud by qualifying for the Rio Olympics and we rolled out the inaugural National Games. We are well on course to build on these gains.”
The main thrust of the strategic plan is to ensure that Cambodian athletes peak their performances in the lead up to Tokyo 2020.
“We want to provide the best training facilities possible for our national athletes, including sending them abroad, hiring experts and bringing in good foreign coaches.
“We would like our referees and officials to upgrade their competency so that they reach international standards,” Chamroeun said.
The three martial art disciplines that the NOCC has in mind for possible Olympic qualification are taekwondo, wu shu and karate.
While Seavmey’s exploits single her out as one of the brightest prospects, the Kingdom’s wu shu prowess has shown marked improvement, while the revamped Karate Federation is likely to inspire a new generation of fighters capable of doing well on the regional and international stage.
Under the new plan, the country’s prime sports body will introduce a “one person-one sport policy”. To attract greater private and corporate involvement, the NOCC has also hit upon the idea of a “one sport-one sponsor” scheme.
“Overall our objectives are realistic. I would like to stress the importance of getting it right because we in the NOCC strongly feel that if we broadly achieve what we set out for, our task of staging the 2023 SEA Games would be that much smoother,” Chamroeun concluded.
Meanwhile, after extensive review of the inaugural National Games, the NOCC has identified several organisational shortfalls that it intends to redress in the next edition.