Fighters Return From Games With Pair of Bronze Medals

Two Cambodian tae kwon do fighters returned from the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur on Tues­­day, their bronze medals firmly in hand.

The two were the only Cambo­dian medal winners aside from the petanque team, which brought home a gold, a silver and three bronze medals.

“I trained very hard,” said 19-year-old Meng Sokry, who won bronze in his 84-kg weight class. “I ran around a mountain in Kam­pong Speu province to train. I was very hopeful.”

His 21-year-old medal-winning colleague, Them Thavirak, said he was intimidated by a 100-kg Thai opponent because Thailand has such a strong tradition in the sport. But he said he convinced himself to be brave and came out ahead by 6-2.

Both fighters belong to the Mit Police Club in Phnom Penh. They were coached by Korean Yong Sok Choi, the national team coach, and Cambodian Hem Samnang.

Club owner Mok Sam Ol said he will seek sponsors to expand tae kwon do in Cambodia.

He said he plans to teach tae ­kwon ­do fighters to speak Eng­lish so they can become members of the international tae kwon do program and referees for the sport. Cambodia did not have a representative on the international referee committee for the SEA Games, he said.

Meng Sokry said he had time to do some sightseeing. He said he rode an elevator to the top of the twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest buildings in the world.

“I have visited the tallest building in the world!” he said. “It’s amazing.”







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