Cambodian sports officials yesterday said the government will pay out some $200,000 in reward money for the 40 medals the country’s athletes and coaches brought home from this year’s Southeast Asia Games, which came to a close in Vientiane earlier this month.
Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said the financial rewards for SEA Games medalists are stipulated in a 2006 subdecree and that this year’s disbursement had already been allocated.
According to Mr Chamroeun, coaches and athletes get $6,000 for gold medals, $4,000 for silver and $2,000 for bronze.
Mr Chamroeun said the NOCC held a party for the team on Wednesday for winning the most SEA Games medals ever for Cambodia —three gold, 10 silver and 27 bronze—and would hold a ceremony to hand out the prize money, though he did not know when.
Cambodia Shuttlecock Federation Secretary-General Chhuon Leng said yesterday the Finance Ministry would decide on the timming of the event.
“Just one dossier must go through 61 desks before reaching the minister. It is a relay like a snail,” Mr Leng said of the ministry’s bureaucracy. “But this time it won’t take long as we have the pride of winning many medals,” he said.
Shuttlecock player Soeur Vannak, who won two bronze medals, said he’d heard rumors that the rewards would be cut to help pay for the homecoming party, but was confident they were false.
“No one would dare,” he said.
Marathoner and bronze medalist Hem Bunting expected to be paid by the end of the month.
“I haven’t got it yet, but they will solve it soon,” he said. “It has been slow because some of the medalists are visiting their hometowns.”
Officials at the Finance Ministry could not be reached for comment yesterday.