Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sokha wary of vovinam challengers in Vietnam

Sokha wary of vovinam challengers in Vietnam

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian vovinam world champion Pov Sokha (right) performs her vovinam skills with sword during a national competition. CAMBODIA2023

Sokha wary of vovinam challengers in Vietnam

Cambodian vovinam world champion Pov Sokha is wary of the threat posed by hosts Vietnam at the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) next month.

“As you know, vovinam originated from Vietnam. They are the SEA Games hosts this year, which gives them an advantage, but puts extra pressure on us,” she said.

Vovinam will feature again at the 31st games, after being dropped from the biggest multi-sports event in the region for the last three competitions (2015, 2017, and 2019).

Cambodia is banking on the sport to reap several medals at the Games through Sokha – who has done the nation proud on the international stage. She won world titles at the 2017 World Championships in India and again in 2019, when Cambodia hosted the event.

The Army officer has also been the undisputed vovinam star of Cambodia, winning the national championships a record four times since 2017.

The national side has been in a closed-door training camp at the Morodok Techo National Stadium for the last six months, preparing for the Games.

“Conditions in the camp are getting better day by day, and now we are used to the closed door policy” said Sokha.

Prior to the camp, the team had been training virtually, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s better now that the vovinam players have joined the training camp. Training online was very difficult, as we need to practice our performances together,” Sokha lamented.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian vovinam world champion Pov Sokha (left) is wary of the threat posed by hosts Vietnam at the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games next month. CAMBODIA2023

She added that in terms of tactical training, training virtually was not ideal – having sparring partners present at the physical camp was much more effective.

With her wide range of experience on the international stage, Sokha is looking to bag another SEA Games medal this year.

In her first appearance at the 2013 SEA Games, she brought home bronze in the 50-55kg vovinam combat event.

In Vietnam, she will compete in three different vovinam events – none of which are the same as the one she won at the World Championships in 2017 and 2019.

“I can’t tell you what will happen in the future – the only thing I can assure you of is that I’ll do my best and give it my all,” she said.

After switching from swimming, Sokha began training in vovinam in 2011 and quickly established herself as one of Cambodia’s greatest sportswomen.

She also won a gold medal at the Asian Beach Games in Vietnam in 2016 – as well as two golds at the Asian Championship in 2018.

Huy Sophak / CAMBODIA2023

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of