Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Seavmey suffers heartbreak in Asian Games quarterfinal



Seavmey suffers heartbreak in Asian Games quarterfinal

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodia’s Sorn Seavmey (left) competes against Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Osipova during the women’s taekwondo +67kg quarter-finals at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Tuesday. AFP

Seavmey suffers heartbreak in Asian Games quarterfinal

Cambodia’s fortunes swung wildly from lively anticipation to despair at the Jakarta Convention Center’s Plenary Hall on Tuesday as Sorn Seavmey, the Kingdom’s brightest taekwondo gold medal prospect in the ongoing 18th Asian Games, was knocked out of the women’s +67kg quarterfinals by Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Osipova 5-3 in a hard fought bout.

Not long earlier, the highly motivated Cassandra Nicole Tubbs suffered a heartbreakingly close 18-19 loss to Pham Thi Thu Hien of Vietnam in the women’s -57kg category round of 32.

Defeats for Seavmey, the 2014 Incheon gold medallist, and the rapidly improving Tubbs came as a shock to the Cambodian camp, which was in a bouyant mood on Tuesday morning when the 2017 SEA Games Gold medallist and Rio Olympics qualifier – and the Kingdom’s most popular athlete – was given an easy path to the quarterfinals after her Sri Lankan last-16 opponent Ranuri Wanthila Wikramasinghe withdrew from the event.

Although a two-hour wait for her clash with Osipova may have added an anxiety, Seavmey looked calm and confident in her red robe, while her rival would have gained sharpness and cofidence from her last-16 victory.

‘I accept the outcome’
As each put evasive tactics to good use, a body kick from the Uzbek was enough to give her a first round advantage of 2-0.

With both contestants more or less evenly matched physically, it boiled down to mental agility and toughness, and Seavmey showed her ability to hustle when she landed a head kick worth three points. That not only put her ahead on the board but also helped her change the dynamic of the fight itself, although it grew increasingly fierce as time ticked by.

A mistimed kick exposed Seavmey to a retaliatory body kick from Osipova who took the lead at 4-3. As they went all out at each other, a crucial penalty point against Seavmey doomed her chances.

In the end it was an equal matchup where the inner strength of fighters from former Soviet countries made the difference. They famously never give up easily, and Osipova proved that point, just as Croatia had done against England in the recent World Cup in Russia.

Aside from all-round disappointment and shattered hopes, there was not much of a reaction from the Cambodian camp.

But Seavmey chose to immediately take to social media to convey her disappointment. She profusely apologised to her legions of fans on her Facebook page, saying that she was sorry she could not bring a medal back to the Kingdom.

Her teammate Tubbs had earlier made up a 2-8 deficit to take a 18-17 lead with four seconds remaining before the Vietnamese produced a two-point body kick to beat the clock.

The officials stopped the fight seconds from the end for a review and awarded the crucial points to Hien.

In an interview with the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia’s Olympic Channel, Tubbs said she was totally taken by surprise when the fight was abruptly stopped and the points awarded to her opponent.

“I clearly did not understand the situation,”she said. “But I accept the outcome and I will continue to train hard and try to do well in the future,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and