Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - WMAU backing Bokator's push for heritage nod



WMAU backing Bokator's push for heritage nod

Cambodia's Bokator performers pose with a South Korean army officer during their trip to the World Martial Arts Festival in Chungju
Cambodia's Bokator performers pose with a South Korean army officer during their trip to the World Martial Arts Festival in Chungju. PHOTO SUPPLIED

WMAU backing Bokator's push for heritage nod

A spectacular performance by Cambodia’s Bokator warriors came in for high praise at the recently concluded annual World Martial Arts Festival in the South Korean city of Chungju, bolstering the Kingdom’s case for UNESCO recognition of this Angkorian-era fighting style as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The World Martial Arts Union, of which Cambodia is a member, is strongly lobbying UNESCO, who are currently evaluating the mound of supporting historical evidence that was presented last year.

“We are awaiting UNESCO’s decision. As one of the world’s ancient fighting techniques, which take an art form, this recognition is very important for us,” National Olympic Committee of Cambodia secretary general Vath Chamroeun told the Post yesterday after returning from Chungju.

“The performances by our four-man team of Bokator fighters was very well received at the festival and there was huge appreciation for some of its techniques.”

Every year, the festival showcases all of world’s martial art forms as well as South Korea’s traditional ones.

Asian Games preparations
Meanwhile, the NOCC official also conducted some important administrative work in relation to Cambodia’s participation in the forthcoming 17th Asian Games being held in Incheon from September 19 to October 4.

“We finalised the registrations and discussed security issues apart from working out travel arrangements for our delegation,” Vath Chamroeun told the Post.

Cambodian athletes will participate in beach volleyball, wrestling, tennis, judo, taekwondo, swimming and athletics, apart from soft tennis, which will be a demonstration sport.

The Cambodian delegation, except for the athletics squad, will leave Phnom Penh on September 16, reaching Incheon the next morning.

Athletics coach Chay Khimsan and his three wards – Hem Bunting, Neko Hiroshi and Ma Viro – left two days ago to train in Japan for two weeks before heading straight to Korea.

Hem Bunting, who is Cambodia’s most successful long distance runner and a SEA Games silver medalist, has been recalled to national duty for the first time since his last appearance at the Guangzhou Asian Games four years ago.

In the intervening years, Bunting won several international half marathons at home and went on a few training jaunts to other countries, most notably Kenya in 2012.

His omission from the national team had kicked up a raging controversy with the athletics authorities often accusing him of indiscipline, a charge that the country’s ace runner has steadfastly refuted.

While Neko Hiroshi, the recent winner of Cambodia’s first full marathon race in Siem Reap, will only run the 42km event in Incheon, Hem Bunting and Ma Viro will both figure in the 5km run and the marathon.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the