Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Seavmey eyes gold as Asiad to open

Seavmey eyes gold as Asiad to open

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Seavmey eyes gold as Asiad to open

Cambodia’s 2018 Asian Games campaign in Jakarta-Palembang began on Thursday as 12 members of the 71-strong squad departed from Phnom Penh International Airport.

Indonesia, a country of some 260 million people is gearing up for a colossal opening ceremony involving 5,000 performers on Saturday evening at the Gelora Bung Karno main stadium in Jakarta, amid unprecedented security measures involving 100,000 police and soldiers.

The first of the Cambodian contingent included seven members of the taekwondo team, including 22-year-old Sorn Seavmey, who will be defending her gold medal from Incheon in South Korea four years ago, the first the Kingdom has ever won in more than 60 years in the second biggest multi-discipline event in the world after the Olympics.

The taekwondo sensation will also be the Kingdom’s flag bearer during the parade of the teams.

Fellow taekwondoka Cassandra Nicole Tubbs, a Texan with a Cambodian mother who has been part of the national team since 2016, is set to join her five teammates and two coaches, flying directly to the Games from her training base in South Korea.

For the first time the Asian Games will be co-hosted by two cities – the capital Jakarta and, nearly 1,000 miles away, Palembang, the chief city of South Sumatra province.

The Kingdom’s advance party also included three officials, one from the Ministry of Education and two from the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia headquarters along with NOCC attache Dr Ken Gadaffi and Dr Sdeoum Chea.

The taekwondo technical delegation meeting will be held on Friday, while the competition starts the day after Saturday’s opening ceremony spectacular.

Cambodia’s chef de mission Sok Visal and a member of the NOCC HQ staff, Sor Malay, were already in Jakarta to deal with delegate registration. The official team welcoming ceremony was held on Thursday.

Secretary-general of the NOCC Vath Chamroeun and the rest of the contingent will leave for Indonesia on Friday.

In an exclusive interview with The Post, the organisation’s top administrator said on Thursday that the Kingdom’s attention was focused on Seavmey (pictured, AFP) delivering another golden moment for the chronicles of Cambodian sport.

Lessons for 2023
“We had such a long and painful wait until 2014 when Seavmey finally brought home our first ever Asian Games gold medal. At the heart of our mission is for her to defend that glory and make the country proud,” Chamroeun said.

“Of the 40 events that are on offer, we are competing in 13 disciplines.

“We expect big things from taekwondo, and our other medal hopes lie in jet skiing, jujitsu and soft tennis, which of late has been showing great promise in many regional and international events.”

Overall, our aim is to see Cambodian athletes improve their performances in every discipline we have entered. We also want accompanying officials to gain useful knowledge from this mega event so that those experiences can be harnessed when we prepare for our biggest sporting challenge – the 2023 SEA Games in Phnom Penh,” he said.

All the venues are ready and tested, organisers have said, with only final beautification work being carried out for Saturday’s big moment.

According to Indonesia’s Sports Ministry Secretary Gatot S Dewa Broto, the opening ceremony has been planned with a mythological theme, flying performers and – aptly for a country in the Pacific “Ring of Fire” with dozens of active volcanoes – a mountain set to erupt.

The Opening ceremony stage is 120 metres long, 30 metres wide and 26 metres high. It will showcase the towering mountain as its background, accompanied by an array of Indonesia’s uniquely beautiful plants and flowers.

The 18th Asian Games, which run until September 2, are to feature 12,000 athletes, support staff and officials, and attract nearly 5,000 journalists.

MOST VIEWED

  • Website advises travellers to stay clear of Angkor Wat

    An Australian website has advised travellers to avoid Angkor Wat during their trip to Southeast Asia because the ancient temple is showing signs of rapid erosion and faced water management issues. In a recent article entitled Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Passenger taxi boat ridership sinks despite free services

    Passenger taxi boat traffic has dropped by about five per cent compared to the same period last year, despite the government providing free service for garment workers until next year, Phnom Penh Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority director Ean Sokhim said on Monday. In 2018, the Phnom

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Jica seeks to turn PP, towns into smart cities

    Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) representatives have sought support from Siem Reap’s Apsara National Authority (ANA) to transform the ancient capital into a smart city. The call was made in February last year after the government approved three cities to join the Asean Smart