Cambodia Struggles at Opening of SEA Games

Cambodia had an inauspicious start to the 2007 Southeast Asian games with the national football team being trounced by Thailand on Tuesday evening while aerobics and sepak takraw (kick volleyball) teams fared little better yesterday.

The Cambodian Under-23 side had already played Indonesia on Sunday afternoon, losing 3-1 to a late brace of goals after a dogged performance, but crashed badly to an 8-0 defeat by Thailand on Tuesday.

They will play Burma on Dec 7, and only victory will save them from finishing at the bottom of their group.

Sum Srorn competed in the aerobics individual men’s competition on Wednesday, finishing in last place with a final score of 17.5, while the trios team, made up of Sum Srorn, Sor Sopheng and Veas Sarith, also finished in last place.

Men’s and women’s teams competed in the sepak takraw events on Wednesday, with the men’s team rated seventh after round 1. The women’s team was trailing in last place after the opening day of an event that continues into next week.

According to Cambodian Foot­ball Federation Deputy General Secretary Tola May, the football team’s results were disappointing but not entirely unexpected.

“To lose 3-1 to Indonesia was not a bad result, considering that they have so many more resources than us,” he said.

However Tola May admitted that the 8-0 collapse against Thai­land was disappointing. Consis­tency has been a problem for the Cambodian side in the past, he said, and their physical strength seemed noticeably lower than the other teams.

“We don’t want to be negative but we are a lot behind and we did not have a lot of training and preparation going into this game,” Tola May added.

He said he hoped to see an im­provement in the next outing.

Sepak takraw teams will be in action today for Cambodia, but no further participants will take part until Friday.

Hosts Thailand are footing the bill for Cambodia’s athletes to compete in this year’s games, which feature some 5,000 athletes from 11 countries competing in 43 sports, with 475 gold medals up for grabs.


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