Prime Minister Hun Sun used Saturday’s closing ceremony of the first National Games in Phnom Penh to call on all provinces to develop more athletes to participate in the next nationwide competition.
“I hope that all provinces will try hard to train all kinds of athletes to participate in the second National Games in 2018 and win more medals,” he said.
Cambodia has three more opportunities to practice holding the biennial games before it hosts the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in 2023, when athletes from across the region will come to Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh’s athletes stood on top in the first games, winning 102 medals.
Athletes representing the ministries of interior and defense came in second and third, respectively, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia reported.
At the bottom of the pack, Preah Vihear and Kompong Speu provinces won a silver medal each, while Tbong Khmum province failed to place.
Mr. Hun Sen said he was surprised Tbong Khmum—“with nearly 1 million people”—did not muster any medals.
“It is a reminder to the provincial governor…to pay attention” to athletics, he said in a speech delivered to athletes lining the stadium’s field.