Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sitting volleyball adds another gold medal as Cambodian Para Games delegation exceeds expectations



Sitting volleyball adds another gold medal as Cambodian Para Games delegation exceeds expectations

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The Cambodian men's sitting volleyball team won all of its matches at the 11th ASEAN Para Games in Solo, Indonesia, earning the team gold medals. SUPPLIED

Sitting volleyball adds another gold medal as Cambodian Para Games delegation exceeds expectations

The Cambodian men's sitting volleyball team won all of its matches at the 11th ASEAN Para Games in Solo, Indonesia, earning the team gold medals.

Cambodia's men's sitting volleyball team won both of their Group A qualifiers, beating the Philippines 3 -0 to start things off and then taking down former gold medalist Myanmar 3-1, thereby avenging their loss to them in the finals of the 2017 ASEAN Para Games in Malaysia.

After coming out on top in Group A, the team went on to beat hosts Indonesia 3-2 in the semi-finals to advance and take on Thailand in the final held on August 4.

The match against Thailand proved to be the biggest challenge yet for the team at this year's games. They came out on top 3-1 in the end, but the score lines were 25-23, 25-22, 19-25 and 25-22 and it could have gone the other way if Cambodia hadn't played so well in the clutch at the end of close matches.

It was one of the most exciting gold medal wins at the ASEAN Para Games for Cambodia in any sport to date in the competition's short history and the victory was well-earned as the Thai team were tough competitors who kept things close the whole way.

By winning the gold medal for their sport, the athletes on the men's sitting volleyball team have helped the Cambodian Para Games delegation go above and beyond the goals that were set prior to this year's competition when chief of mission Yi Veasna said he expected at least three gold medal wins across all sports.

It turns out Veasna was too conservative with his estimate, because as of the evening of August 4 Cambodia had won six gold medals, nine silver and eight bronze.

The 23 total medal wins so far have set a new record and a new standard for Cambodia's disabled athletes and surpasses the number of medals won by Cambodia in any other year competing.

"With the total number of medals our team has won so far, it has already broken the record for most medals from the ASEAN Para Games from 2001 to 2017, and we still have a number of disciplines to compete in for yet more medals," Veasna said.

The secretary-general of the National Paralympic Committee of Cambodia said that in the past nine ASEAN Para Games, Cambodia's medal count ran as follows:

2001: Three

2003: Nine

2005: Five

2007: One

2009: Seven

2011: Seven

2013: Nine

2015: Nine

2017: 10

This year's games are the first to be held since the Covid-19 pandemic temporarily shut the competition down after the 2017 contest in Malaysia.

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