Cambodian Athletes to Compete In Asian Beach Games in Phuket

Eight Cambodian athletes will travel to the Thai island of Phuket this week to take part in the 4th Asian Beach Games, which begin on Friday.

The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) has selected the athletes to compete in beach wrestling, beach volleyball and beach foot-volleyball at the biennial event, which hosts contestants from 45 countries, NOCC secretary-general Vath Chamroeun said Tuesday.

“There are a lot of strong athletes from other countries, like Iran, and Cambodia has never won in this competition before,” Mr. Chamroeun said.

“However, we have high hopes in wrestling because we have chosen some players who have won medals in the SEA Games,” he said.

Thin Vichet, secretary-general of the Wrestling Federation of Cambodia and coach of the country’s beach wrestling team, however, was less confident.

“We did not have enough time to train on [proper] sand surfaces and they have been training on a volleyball court, and the sand is different from the sand on the beach,” he said of the four wrestlers who will be representing Cambodia.

“I don’t have much hope that we will win medals,” Thin Vichet added.

And despite picking up a bronze medal at the SEA Games in Bangkok in 2007, 32-year-old wrestler Chab Loeun said he was doubtful about his chances for success in Phuket.

“I don’t train on sand often because there are not many facilities in Cambodia that offer this,” Mr. Loeun said, explaining that he has been preparing for the upcoming competition on a sand volleyball court at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium—when it’s available.

The Asian Beach Games, which last took place in the Chinese city of Haiyang in 2012, run until November 24.

sony@cambodiadaily.com

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