Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Seavmey to open gold defence



Seavmey to open gold defence

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia’s Seavmey Sorn (left) lands a kick on Kirstie Alora of the Philippines in their semifinal at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on October 3, 2014. AFP

Seavmey to open gold defence

As the kid sister of the highly talented London 2012 taekwondo Olympian Sorn Davin, Seavmey created a stir as a 15-year old when she won bronze at the 2011 Indonesia South East Asia Games in Jakarta.

Over the following years, Seavmey has become a national treasure after making history at the Incheon Asiad in South Korea in 2014 when she ended Cambodia’s more than six decade wait by becoming the Kingdom’s first ever Asian Games gold medallist.

Older by seven years from when she first tasted glory, Seavmey is back all the wiser after her qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics, her 2017 SEA Games gold medal in Malaysia and the further honing of her skills after training hard under long-time South Korean coach Choi Yong Sok.

The 22-year-old returns to the bustling Indonesian capital’s Convention Center Plenary Hall for what she regards as the greatest mission of her career so far.

On Tuesday morning at 10am (there is no time difference between Jakarta and Phnom Penh), Seavmey will open the defence of her 2014 gold medal in the women’s +67kg class against relatively inexperienced Sri Lankan Ranuri Wanthila Wickramasinghe.

This round of 16 contest will be a significant lead up to Seavmey’s progress through what appears to be a quality field that includes the Philippines’ Kirstie Alora, who lost to the Cambodian in the Kuala Lumpur 2017 final.

On her arrival a few days ago in Jakarta, Seavmey sat down for an interview with National Olympic Committee of Cambodia press attache Ken Gadaffi to express her gratitude to the people of Cambodia for their prayers and warm support, and singled out Prime Minister Hun Sen’s personal best wishes and encouragement as a major spur in her goal of adding another gold medal to her collection.

She candidly spoke about the pride of representing the Kingdom in such a huge event and living up to massive expectations.

“Some people think the burden of expectation bothers me and makes me nervous. No. Instead the people’s blessing is a source of strength and it adds to my motivation,” she said.

“I am honoured to be here. I will do my best for the country and I am inspired by the support.

“It is one fight at a time, and I will give everything I have to win each one of them until I complete this great mission,” the Phnom Penh native said.

Meanwhile, Seavmey’s long-time coach Choi played down concerns expressed in certain quarters about the possible impact of the injury Seavmey suffered before the 2016 Olympics, where she was thought to have been not quite a hundred per cent.

‘Mentally strong’

In the 2017 Malaysian SEA Games campaign the effects of the injury was one of the main talking points, but she eventually proved her mettle and took home the gold.

“I feel she is mentally and physically strong enough now to defend her gold medal,” Choi said.

“It is a tough field no doubt and she has to bring out her best every time she enters the fight. But I am confident she will do well.”

“Now we know the line-ups and we will work out the strategy accordingly. It is your own resolution that counts and not the reputation of your rival, and Seavmey has the perfect understanding of this and she is fearless,” Choi added.

As the excitement builds up towards fight time on Tuesday, the entire country will be watching with bated breath every move that Seavmey makes in her opening fight, and the Sri Lankan’s comparitively “light” track record should work in favour of the Cambodian star.

But both Seavmey and her coach have refused to talk further than beyond the opening fight.

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

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • 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

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • 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

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42