Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Taekwondo hopes rest on sisters

Taekwondo hopes rest on sisters

Cambodian taekwondo star sisters Sorn Davin (left) and Sorn Sivmey train under the watch of South Korean coach Choi Yong Sok
Cambodian taekwondo star sisters Sorn Davin (left) and Sorn Sivmey train under the watch of South Korean coach Choi Yong Sok yesterday morning at the Booyoung Khmer Taekwondo Centre in the National Sports Complex. Sreng Meng Srun

Taekwondo hopes rest on sisters

Cambodia’s taekwondo medal prospects at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, lie solely with the Sorn sisters, Davin and Seavmey, who have built up an imposing record at the regional level.

The taekwondo events will be held at the Ganghwa Dolmens Gymnasium from September 30 to October 3.

Twenty-two-year old Davin, a silver medalist at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, narrowly missed out on a gold again in the Myanmar edition last December after going down to Kirstie Elaine Alora of the Philippines. However, her younger sibling Sivmey easily defeated Indonesia’s Selviana Angelia Jehabut to top the podium in the women’s under-73kg class.

The two are fresh from a trip to Uzbekistan a couple of months ago, where they showed exemplary fighting skills against quality opposition, a performance head coach Choi Yong Sok believes will considerably boost their morale in Incheon.

It was at the 2012 London Olympics that Sorn Davin left a grand impression of her fighting abilities after going down 2-3 to the defending champion Maria Espinoza of Mexico in a hard-fought first-round matchup.

“It was a sterling performance. She was a bit unlucky on that day but she has kept building on that promise,” Choi told the Post in an exclusive interview before yesterday morning’s training session.

“They are in very good shape and spirits. They have gained a lot of competition experience and I am confident they will do well,” added the South Korean native, who is Cambodia's longest-serving foreign coach, having taken up the job in 1994.

“The taekwondo events begin only on September 30. We have nearly 12 days to train in Korea. They have enough time to get settled. I have drawn up a plan for their training in various clubs.

Ban Khemara, who will compete at the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon, throws a high kick during training
Ban Khemara, who will compete at the upcoming Asian Games in Incheon, throws a high kick during training yesterday. Sreng Meng Srun

“Sivmey will be competing in the under-73kg class while Davin will be in the over-73kg category. Both have a distinct height advantage and I expect both to figure prominently in their fights,” Choi said.

“The competition is really tough. Korea is the home of taekwondo and there are other countries who have a strong presence in the sport. I do believe both Davin and Sivmey have a good chance of a medal if they perform to their known potential.”

The third member of the Cambodian squad is young Ban Khemara, who will compete in the men’s under-54kg category.

Khemara, who has topped national contests several times, figured in the men’s under-58kg poomsae (moves performance) event at Myanmar. “He is relatively inexperienced at this level but he is talented and I expect a good performance from him,” Choi said.

South Korean Ambassador to Cambodia Kim Han-soo met the members of the Incheon-bound taekwondo squad recently to wish them well in the presence of National Olympic Committee of Cambodia secretary-general Vath Chamroeun.

“SEA Games results clearly show that both Davin and Sivmey have great potential. We saw Davin perform so well at the London Olympics. We fondly hope that they can bring us a medal,” Chamroeun said.


  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,