At the halfway stage of the ongoing 2nd National Games involving 27 disciplines, the rivalry between Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Phnom Penh is hotting up, with the two scooping nearly half of the 91 gold medals so far, with four out of the 28 teams still to open their accounts.
Team MoI’s overall gold tally stood at 22, two ahead of Phnom Penh. The two most successful gold-winning teams are also close in the silver and bronze medal counts.
In Tuesday’s medal standings, Ministry of National Defense, with seven golds, two silvers and five bronzes, were third, with Ministry of Economy and Finance (MoE) in fourth with 6-5-1. The next four teams were Kandal 4-6-23, Koh Kong 4-4-5, Tbong Khmum 4-4-1 and Kampong Cham 4-3-8.
Teams from Pailin, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri and Kratie were without medals.
Judokas from the capital were top of the pile, with seven golds, a silver and two bronze medals. MoI, with 3-3-4, held on to second place, as Sihanoukville managed a sole gold medal to add to three bronzes. Siem Reap took home four silver and three bronze medals.
Swimmers from MoI dominated the pool with 12 golds, four silvers and a bronze at the Morodok Decho National Sports Complex.
Phnom Penh finished second with 4-4-3, while Tbong Khmum and Kampong Cham picked up a gold medal each. The other provinces making it on the podium were Koh Kong 0-3-3, Kampot 0-2-4, Prey Veng 0-2-0 and Kandal 0-0-2.
Samneang’s tennis sweep
Mekong Goodwill Games winner in 2016, Keo Pich Choravy stamped her class in the women’s badminton by taking the singles and doubles titles.
After partnering Chhoun Chhai Ry in their doubles triumph, Choravy bagged singles gold on Tuesday, beating Kampong Cham’s Leng Dary in the final.
Following their victory in the team event for the Ministry of National Defense, Long Samneang and Leng Sarinreach came back from a set down to beat Phnom Penh pairing of Phalkun Mam and Khleang Ponlok 6-7,6-2 (10-2) in the doubles gold medal contest.
Run Dun and Be Jonathan became Siem Reap’s first men’s doubles medallists by winning the bronze, defeating Kep’s Leap Sovannary and Chheang Vannasith 6-0, 6-0.
Samneang was then back on court to face fellow Davis Cupper Phalkun Mam in the men’s singles final.
In a seesaw battle that went all the way to three sets spread over 150 minutes, Samneang bounced back from a set down to win 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.
Our Sarith, who is part of the national team, won the bronze for Koh Kong after beating Be Jonathan of Siem Reap 6-2, 6-4 in the third-place playoff.
Representing Koh Kong were Ho Sreynoch and Our Sarith in the mixed doubles final, where they defeated Phnom Penh duo Chhieu Apsara and Khleang Ponlok 6-4 6-2 to take the gold.