Cambodia’s badminton pick for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, Vath Vannthoun, ended his trip on a high after he was drafted into an international relay team that won an unofficial gold medal after losing all three of his matches in the men’s singles qualifying round in the first week of competition.
Cambodian swimmer Poeuvpichra Bunna finished third in the second heat series to be eliminated from the men’s freestyle.
In the first three rounds of his regular event, Vannthoun lost in straight sets to players from Thailand, Singapore and Nepal and was eliminated.
Vannthoun went on to form part of one of seven teams the International Olympic Committee and the International Badminton Union put together – Alpha, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Theta, Sigma and Omega.
With 63 players from 46 countries, Vannthoun was included in the Alpha team made up of Cambodia, Bulgaria, India, Sweden, Canada, the US and Sri Lanka.
Alpha beat Theta, comprising Japan, Czech Republic, Brazil, Australia, Germany, Egypt and Belgium, in the semi-finals.
They clinched the gold by beating the Omega team of Vietnam, Ukraine, Chinese Taipei, France, New Zealand, Norway and Fiji.
The gold does not count in the official medals tally.