Taekwondo star Sorn Davin will become Cambodia’s first female flag bearer at an Olympic Games when she leads the delegation at the opening ceremony of the London Games this Friday.
"Sorn Davin will carry our flag. She was the most worthy candidate among all our athletes," said Vath Chamroeun, Secretary-General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia.
The towering 20-year-old Phnom Penh native won a silver medal at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia and has wealth of experience in international competitions.
Having landed in London on June 14 and attending a five-week training course under top British taekwondo coach David Cook, Davin is set to compete in the women’s over-67kg event on August 11.
The South Korean martial art of taekwondo is rapidly growing in popularity in Cambodia, and many view Sorn Davin as the Kingdom’s best chance of progressing past the first round for the first time in their history in any discipline.
After a defeat in the second round of the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in November last year, where she was fighting with an injury she sustained during the SEA Games, Davin will hope for better fortune on the mats of London's ExCel Center.
She received one of four Tripartite Commission Invitation places awarded by the International Olympic Committee to grant entry to the Olympics.
The honour of carrying the flag was previously given to famous male athletes such as renowned long distance runner Hem Bunting in Beijing four years ago. Hem Kiry, now national swimming coach and part of the London delegation, was flagbearer at the 2000 Sydney Games and 2004 Athens Games.
Davin was understandably delighted to be given the chance to lead out her colleagues at the opening ceremony held in the stunning new Olympic Stadium.
"It is a great honor for me and I am especially excited as it will be my first Olympics in my career. I am very proud of myself and feel honored to have been selected. I hope I will be able to give my best when the competition begins,” she said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ken Gadaffi at [email protected] reporting from London