The record-setting Cambodia Vovinam team are intensifying training, as they prepare for this year’s world championships in Vietnam.

The 7th WVVF World Vovinam Championships will be held in Ho Chi Minh from November 22-30.

High expectations have been placed on the team as they prepare for the competition, and their confidence remains high. When Cambodia hosted the 32nd Sea Games at home last May, its Vovinam exponents delivered a record-setting medal haul of 10 golds, eight silvers and nine bronzes, topping the Vovinam medal table.

This meant they held the Vietnam team – Vovinam translates as “Vietnamese martial arts” – to second place.

Kao Makara, the team’s head coach, said last week that 28 athletes, including 11 women, have been selected for the world championships.

They will compete in 26 events, 10 of them combat and 16 performance categories.

He noted that among the 28 athletes, just four will be making their debut. This indicates the wealth of high-level competition experience that is available to the team.

Pal Chhor Raksmy, an outstanding athlete who claimed four golds – as well as a silver and a bronze – at May’s SEA Games, has been selected to represent Cambodia one more time, and will be joined by her gold-medal winning teammate Pov Sokha, among others.

Athletes Eh Virak Khamchit Phouthang and his brother Eh Ammarin Phouthang – the sons of former prominent Khmer boxer Eh Phouthang, and both also Kun Khmer fighters – will be absent from this year’s world champs.

Makara was confident that the Cambodian vovinam athletes would find a way to secure gold and raise the Kingdom’s profile in the sport even higher, noting that they had always been able to ascend the podium in previous events.

He believed their incredible efforts at the SEA Games would also provide valuable confidence and experience.

“The question for us is not whether we will win gold in Vietnam, but how many we will win. Our athletes are in the best possible condition, and have improved since their last competition,” he said.