Cambodian Wins Petanque World Championship

Cambodian petanque player Ke Leng won her second world championship in three years on Friday, beating out competitors from 41 countries to win the gold medal at the Women’s Petanque World Championship in Bangkok.

Ms. Leng, 48, won her first world championship in 2013, an accomplishment that saw her feted in a ceremony about two years later in which Prime Minister Hun Sen bestowed her with the title “hero with the best hand for petanque.”

Ke Leng is greeted by supporters upon arriving at Phnom Penh International Airport last night after winning the petanque world championship in Bangkok on Friday. (Chin Long)

In this year’s tournament, Ms. Leng finished atop competitors from Tunisia, France and Madagascar, who took second and tied for third, respectively.

Ros Salin, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, confirmed the victory and said Ms. Leng had made her country proud.

“I’m proud of her, and it’s also a chance for Cambodia to raise up its flag to show the world,” he said.

“Through this, the world will get to know Cambodia more.” Ms. Leng could not be reached Sunday. Following a ceremony in April celebrating her 2013 victory, the petanque powerhouse said she would continue playing the sport as long as her body allowed.

“I will only retire when I can no longer lift the ball,” she said at the time.

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