Cambodia’s first ever RSX class competitor in the ongoing Asian Games in Indonesia, Soth Mesa, has expectedly run into severe headwind in the company of classy sailors with Olympic and Asiad credentials, but he will use experiencing such tough competition to further hone his skills and come back all the stronger for it.
The 16-year-old Mesa, based in the naval base town of Ream near Sihanoukville, switched to the more challenging RSX class less than four months ago, while most of the other nine he is competing with have been in the business for well over two years.
His inexperience clearly showed, though Mesa managed to come out with several positives despite finishing down the field.
“It is hard to compete against such a reputed class of sailors. But he is doing well and has shown the courage to use the experiences gained in his long training stint in China,” Cambodian Sailing Federation advisor Meng Wang said.
Of the 10 races completed, Mesa has a total of 69 points, which puts him at the lower end of the scale as giants like Bi Kun of China, Cheng Cheung Leung and Michael of Hong Kong, along with Lee Tae-hoon of South Korea fight a four-way battle, with Tomizawa Makoto of Japan chasing them hard.
Meanwhile, Mesa’s teammate Duch Bunthuoeun in the laser standard is also facing a similar predicament, caught like a small fish in the middle of a pack of sharks.
After nine races he is trailing the 16-member field, where a small margin splits the top three, while the rest have a lot to do to catch up.
In the open laser 4.7, teammate Nhov Chan is also way off the mark as a Malaysian and a Chinese battle hard for the top two places.
Mixed bag in soft tennis
Cambodia’s men went through a day of mixed fortunes at the JSC Courts in Palembang with Kann Sophorn suffering two defeats in Preliminary Group E, while Doeum Samsocheaphearun won his second Group G match after losing his first.
While Sophorn lost his opening round 4-1 to Uayporn Sorrachet of Thailand, he went down battling 4-3 to India’s Meena Jay in the next match.
Samsocheaphearun beat Vietnam’s Lee Phuock Linh 4-2 after losing 4-0 to Sie Alexander Elbert of Indonesia.
In the women’s Preliminary Group D, Kim Ji-yeon of South Korea outplayed Rin Sotheary 4-0. The Cambodian lost her second match with Kusrini Dede Tari of Indonesia 4-1.
However, the best result of the afternoon for Cambodia was achieved by Meth Mariyan. She opened her Group H campaign with a 4-3 win over India’s Namitha Seth and was well placed against Pitri Dwi Rahayu of Indonesia to progress.