Cambodian taekwondo star Sorn Seavmey was presented with 80 million riel ($20,000) from a government sub-decree for booking her historic place at this year’s Olympics in Rio at an event held at Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Tuesday evening.
She received another 13 million riel for taking home a silver medal from the 2016 Asian Taekwondo Championship in the Philippines.
Her South Korean trainer Choi Young Seok received the same amount as Seavmey, while her national teammate Chhoeung Puthearim got 11 million riel for her bronze medal exploits at the Asian Championship.
After the presentation ceremony, Seavmey said: “I am very happy for all encouragement I have received and I will continue to try my best for myself, my family and my country.
“I want to thank the government and the Federation, as well as the generous donors for supporting me.”
During the award ceremony, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said they planned to raise money from the private sectors to support taekwondo at the upcoming Olympics.
“We will introduce a fund to support taekwondo at the Rio Games for donors, and the ministry and the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia will create a public account,” he said.
The minister also said that preparations and training for the world’s biggest sporting event would fall under the auspices of the Taekwondo Federation and the NOCC, who regularly coordinate training places abroad.
The minister said that the raising of funds for the Taekwondo Federation would be overseen by the head of the Education Ministry’s Sport department, Uk Sithycheat, Seavmey’s coach Choi Young Seok and general-secretary of the NOCC Vath Chamroeun.
“For the upcoming Olympics, we are planning to send Seavmey to South Korea for two months’ training before she flies to Brazil because she has to strengthen her physical condition,” Chamroeun said.
Translated by In Sopheng