Cambodia’s top female taekwondo pair Sorn Davin and her younger sister Sorn Sivmey have received six-month scholarships to South Korea that will see the sisters train in the sport’s country of origin all the way up to the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar in December.
The deal, brokered by the Korea Taekwondo Association and the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, gives the Kingdom a huge boost in its quest for medals this year.
Sorn Davin, a towering 21-year-old who competes in the over-67kg women’s category, captured silver at the previous edition in Indonesia and bronze at the 2009 SEA Games in Vientiane. She also received a Tripartite Commission Invitation place last summer to appear at the London Olympics, where she narrowly lost in the opening round to defending champion Maria Espinoza of Mexico.
In a news conference held on Friday, NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun revealed the girls would train at the world-famous taekwondo club in YeongCheon-si under the supervision of Lee Jong Woo.
“During training, food, accommodation, flight tickets and technical training, as well as other living costs have all been guaranteed by Lee Jong Woo,” Vath Chamroeun said.
According to the NOCC official, the potential in both Cambodians had been recognised by the KTA, who hope to guide them to podium places in Myanmar.
Tourism Minister and NOCC president Thong Khon said: “Our main strategy is to seek good cooperation [with South Korea] in order to send our players to train there . . . As taekwondo improves in standard here, [we can look to it] to help achieve our target of 10 gold medals.”
Cambodian national team coach Choi Yong Sok of South Korea, who accompanied Sorn Davin during the London Games, said that both sisters were physically fit. “I believe we will get the gold medals,” he said.
Vath Chamroeun noted that rich rewards were on offer for successful athletes at the SEA Games, something the NOCC hoped would motivate them sufficiently.
Translated by Cheng Seryrith