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Sum Sokha urges athletes who came up short for medals to redouble their efforts

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Vice-President of the Cambodia Tennis Federation Sum Sokha presents awards to athletes who have just won medals at the 3rd National Games. CHHORN NORN

Sum Sokha urges athletes who came up short for medals to redouble their efforts

As a woman who developed her own talents until she was a multi-sport athlete and sports leader, Vice-President of the Cambodia Tennis Federation Sum Sokha encouraged athletes who have just won medals at the 3rd National Games to redouble their efforts in order to develop themselves further and win medals for the nation when Cambodia hosts the 32nd SEA Games in 2023.

She also urged athletes that did not win any medals at the games to train harder and hone their abilities in order to compete with the medal winners and win a call-up to represent the nation in the historic event next year.

"This is a source of pride for the gold, silver and bronze medal winners who did their best during their regular training to get to where they are now. It doesn't mean that the losers didn't train hard, but of course these games always have winners and losers," Sokha said at the closing ceremony of the tennis competition at the National Games on November 23.

Sokha said that winning requires each athlete to have total commitment and skills that only come from training hard, but for those who did not win a medal at the national games, there would still be another chance to win in the future if they put more effort into strengthening their own abilities.

"I believe that those who have lost will not lose forever. It depends on their hard work and dedication, because if others can do it, why can't they do it? We have to make the commitment to ourselves that even if we lose today, we will do whatever it takes in the future to win," she said.

Sokha – a former standout volleyball, football and basketball player – shared her experiences to inspire the Cambodian tennis team members to increase their efforts to reach their full potential and compete for medals at the 2023 SEA Games.

"I'm a former athlete and if I play, I play to win. I always try to beat my opponents so that I get the medal and the younger generation of athletes must work harder to play for their nation," Sokha, who also won two bronze medals in the shooting event at the 1997 SEA Games in Indonesia, emphasized.

"For the medal winners, you also need to strengthen your capacity so that you can participate in the 32nd SEA Games. Those who did not win medals, you need to train more. If you did not win a medal, double your training. As athletes, we have to be willing and determined to try to beat our opponents," she continued.

The 3rd National Games tennis competitions saw Bun Kenny take first place in the men's singles event and Nhem Srey Nuch first place for women's singles. In the doubles category, Samneang and O Sarith won the gold for men and Srey Nuch and Nhem Sopheaktra for women.

After five days of competition in these four disciplines, Chea Pov of the organising committee, who also coaches the national tennis team, evaluated their progress.

"We see that in the men's and women's singles competition, both the ability and technical level has increased, especially Bun Kenny who had good technique and good discipline, while Srey Nuch has been training hard to increase her abilities since she came back from the SEA Games in Vietnam," he said.

Pov said both the men and women on the national team need to increase their training and play matches abroad as often as they can to get ready for the SEA Games.

He noted that the organising committee has set a target for the tennis federation of winning at least one gold medal at the upcoming games.

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