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

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • NagaWorld protest part of ‘conspiracy’

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court and police held a joint-press conference on January 4 to clarify details concerning the arrest of nine former employees of the integrated resort NagaWorld and the charges brought against them, saying that the authorities had clear grounds for taking legal action.