Brawl-marred football final caps Cambodia’s first SEA Games hosting

Bou Samnang’s determined but distant finish in driving rain and a wild ending to the football final were two of the defining images of Cambodia’s first staging of the Southeast Asian Games.

Despite the host nation’s desire for golds going into the 32nd SEA Games, a mini-Olympic style event for the region of 650 million people, it was 5,000-meter runner Bou Samnang’s finish, in last place and in tears, on May 8 that captured hearts and earned praise from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“What really held my attention was the way she kept running, despite the heavy rain, and despite being in last place,” he said. “To reward her determination, my wife and I will honor her with $10,000.”

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