Cambodia’s sporting fraternity turning out in full force for yesterday morning’s official opening ceremony of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia headquarters, with former star athletes, coaches and many of the Kingdom’s top sports officials receiving honorific titles and medals from Prime Minister Hun Sen, who presided over the event.
During his address to the 2,000-strong crowd, the premier noted his desire to honour some of the surviving sports heroes of the past and asked the NOCC to try to help find more worthy of recognition.
Topping the honours list of 50 names was Pong Khiev Se, director of local construction firm OCIC which built the NOCC’s new home. The director had the title Chea Tobkar bestowed upon him.
Meanwhile, NOCC general secretary Vath Chamroeun, NOCC vice-general secretary Hem Samnang, Cambodian Vovinam Federation president Roth Sokhon and national taekwondo coach Choi Yong Sok of South Korea were given the title Moha Seryvath.
Athletes and coaches who gained international success during the 1960s and 1970s, were granted the title of Moha Sena by the Royal Government.
The veteran sports aces included Um Kim Phin, Doung Samay, Teab Kim San, Hor Vannara, Chan Leang Chhiv, Eab Sodaneth and Ten Sem, while San Kim Sean, Hok Chhean Kim, Chhoun Leng, Bou Vylong, Chhoam Chhary, Nov Pheng, Em Heang and Khong Kim Sim made the list as coaches.
NOCC Advisors Stefano Podini of Italy and Ken Gadaffi of Nigeria received the Moha Sena title from the premier, as did North Korean wrestling coaches Paek Su Nam and Ri Cho Nam.
NOCC officials honoured with the title Tep Baden included international cooperation department head Noy Phanna, information department head Kang Sothea, financial department head Tob Panha. Ban Ratha, chief engineer for the NOCC headquarters building project, was also handed the same honour.
Translated by Cheng Seryrith