Bodybuilders Have No Tickets to SEA Games

The Cambodian National Body­building Team is training hard for the Southeast Asian Games in Ma­nila—and they have had some support, including hundreds of eggs for protein—but they are lacking one important element: airline tickets.

The four competitors, their coach and manager need approximately $3,000 for transportation and ex­pen­ses to attend the games, but have been refused funding by the Nation­al Olympic Committee, team officials said.

“We are thinking about sending competitors for the SEA Games but the government budget is alr­eady closed,” Coach Kong Phalla said.

Kong Phalla said the bodybuilders had been in negotiations to attend the games as the national team, but the committee appeared uninterested in funding them.

The team needs the funding by next Tuesday or Wednesday to get to Manila by Dec 1 with the other teams, or they will miss the deadline for registration, said Sok Sam­bo, team manager and Cam­bodian Bodybuilding Federation secretary-general.

“I would like to appeal to Prince [Norodom] Ranariddh because he is the Olympic Committee president,” Sok Sambo said.

“Please help us, because we are ready to compete,” he said.

Asked about the possibility of funding the bodybuilding team, Cambodian National Olympic Com­mittee Secretary-General Meas Sarin offered a curt refusal before hanging up on a reporter.

“I don’t know,” he said. “They can go by themselves.”

South East Asian Body Building Federation President Douglas Latchford wrote by e-mail that  there is still a chance that the team will be able to compete.

“I have been able to get the organizers in the Philippines to wait for the [Cambodian bodybuilders’] ap­plication forms, providing the team hand-carry them,” he said.

But middleweight Dom Sarun said that even if he cannot go to Manila next month, his work will not be wasted.

“Even if I don’t go, I keep training for myself for my whole life,” he said.


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