Meas Sarin, president of the Cambodia Sepak Takraw and Chinlone Federation, quoted the popular slogan “Khmer Can Do It”, to the athletes of his federation. The players of sepak takraw – often called kick volleyball – should use the meaningful phrase as motivation as they prepare for next year’s SEA Games.

“The four days of matches at the 3rd National Games were an opportunity for the players to measure themselves against one another, and get a sense of how well their training is progressing. The games were also an important step on the journey towards the SEA Games, which the Kingdom is hosting,” he said.

He added that the players who claimed medals in the sepak takraw finals, on November 22, should be proud of their disciplined approach to training.

“Their winning results can be attributed to regular training, perseverance and respect for the game,” he said.

He added that the event had also given match officials and organisers valuable experience at hosting a tournament.

“When Cambodia hosted the ASEAN summit, it gained fame drew praise from many members of the international community. Our country may be small, but we are capable, as is summed up by the well known phrase ‘Khmer Can Do It’. The sepak takraw and chinlone players should bear this in mind. By always keeping this idea in their minds, they will be successful at the games,” he said.

Cambodia claimed gold in chinlone at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

“We still have a national competition coming up. Once that is completed, you will head to Myanmar – the home of chinlone – for a four or five month training camp. It is your honour to represent the Kingdom,” he told the assembled athletes.

He recommended that they train as hard as they could, and called on sepak takraw clubs across the kingdom to recruit younger players to grow the game at the grassroots. He also suggested that they look for development partners so they could increase the number of competitions that were held each year.

“We have also scheduled additional training with international instructors for our umpires,” he added.

43 men and 12 women competed at the national games, representing six clubs and associations.

The Ministry of National Defence won three gold medals, followed by the Ministry of Interior with one silver and two bronze medals, with Kampong Cham and Oddar Meanchey provinces both claiming one silver. Prey Veng won one bronze, but Preah Vihear was denied any medals.