Cambodia's petanque players delivered two more silver medals, but the day’s spotlight fell on boxer Ven Ratha, who stormed into the men’s light welterweight (64kg) final after his impressive semifinal victory yesterday morning.
The 25-year old Ratha earned a unanimous points decision over Leong Jun Hao of Singapore in a fight he clearly dominated all the way. He caught the judges eye with some telling blows with all three of them scoring in his favour.
“We are indeed very proud of Ven Raha’s performance and looking forward to his final fight,” said Cambodia’s Chef de Mission and Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee Vath Chamroeun.
“We hope others will follow Ratha’s lead and boost our medals tally in the days to come. Of course there are some disappointing results elsewhere, but overall we feel that our athletes have done their best,” he said.
The gold medal decider will pit Ratha against Thailand’s Masuk Wuttisai on Wednesday. The Thai boxer was equally impressive in his semi-final win on points over Khanxy Oudone of Laos.
Anticipation was high in the Cambodian petanque circles this morning as Thong Chhoeun and Un Sreya figured in the men’s and women’s singles finals respectively. But both came up short and had to rest content with silver medals.
Thong Chhoeun went down 6-13 to Malaysia’s Mat Daud Muhd Ha while Un Sreya was beaten 8-13 by Fueangsanit Nant of Thailand.
Footballers downed by Singapore
Hosts Singapore posted a 3-1 win over Cambodia in a Pool A match at the Jalan Besar Stadium late yesterday evening to keep their chances of qualification to the next stage alive.
Coming into this crucial game off a narrow defeat by Myanmar, the Lions showed greater attacking verve in the first half during which midfielder Sulaiman Safirul and striker Ramli Muhammad were bang on target to keep a highly partisan crowd in great spirits.
While Sulaiman curled in a free kick from just out side the box to the top corner of the net, Ramli’s was a free header after Cambodia’s goal keeper Um Serei Rath had dashed out of his charge in pursuit of Fandi Ahmed Irfan who despite losing his balance managed to send the ball across the goalmouth.
Cambodia’s coach Lee Tae Hoon pulled out Chan Vathanaka from the bench to bolster the side’s sagging morale and within minutes the striker reduced the margin with a neat header of a long ball delivered into the box by Chhin Chhoeun.
Cambodia battled hard to get on level terms but Singapore striker Suhaimi Mohammad stretched the lead minutes before the end of regulation time.
After sneaking past the backline Suhaimi easily got the better of Um in a one-one situation to drive the ball into the net.
Coach Lee Tae Hoon conceded after the match that the result was a disappointing one coming as it did after a 6-1 drubbing by Indonesia two days ago.