Athletes With ‘Khmer Blood’ Sought for SEA Games

The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia has sought the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to find ethnically Cambodian athletes worldwide to bolster the rosters of the nation’s sporting teams, president Thong Khon said on Monday.

The recently approved “master plan” for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games, which Cambodia will host, included a provision allowing ethnically Khmer athletes from around the world to compete for Cambodia, Mr. Khon explained on Monday.

“Khmer brothers and sisters overseas, we will receive them to compete in the name of the nation,” he said, noting a letter he sent to the Foreign Affairs Ministry last week seeking assistance from Cambodian embassies around the world in finding and recruiting athletes.

He said that while athletic facilities abroad may be of a higher standard, anyone wishing to compete would have to first prove their skills in Cambodia, including at the inaugural National Games this October.

Olympic Committee Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun on Monday cited U.S.-raised Cambodian adoptee and diving champion Jordan Pisey Windle and French-born tennis player Delton Kim as evidence that Khmer athletes raised abroad were of an international standard, and would boost Cambodia’s teams.

“Athletes with Khmer blood are welcome…. If they want to come, we are open.”

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