TV3 announced Monday that the station would award $1,000 to each Cambodian who won a gold medal at the Southeast Asian Games. Cambodians who win a silver medal will get $500 and bronze medalists $300.
As of Monday evening, Cambodia had not won any medals at the games, and the football team was out—finishing at the bottom of their grouping.
The money is being offered to encourage people to win medals for Cambodia, said Fai Samang, program chief of TV3. “I can’t guess whether any will earn our rewards,” he said. “We feel hopeless because of the results. We wait and see.”
Footballers finished the games losing a moot match 2-0 against Singapore on Monday after earlier being eliminated from medal contention. Singapore scored a quick goal in the first 10 minutes of play and a second goal late in the second half. Cambodia managed to hold Singapore off for more than an hour in what was a mostly defensive game with few approaches to Singapore’s goal.
“We have no hope of winning medals, [not] even bronze,” said the TV3 and TV5 commentators after the game.
The football team suffered a crushing defeat of 7-2 to Malaysia last week partly because they lost a player early on who was sent off after receiving two penalty cards. That meant Cambodia was forced to play with only 10 men the rest of the way. The team also lost to Indonesia 1-0 and tied with Brunei. Singapore will now go on to square off with Vietnam, while Cambodia heads home.
In track and field, Bon Thoeun Mok of Cambodia came last in the 10 km run with a time of 36 minutes and 58 seconds, The Associated Press reported.
The Cambodian tennis team was eliminated from medal possibilities after losing to Brunei 2-1. Rin Sophanaro lost to Brunei’s top-ranked singles player, Aki Ismasufian, the Borneo Bulletin reported.
The Cambodian basketball team was also thrashed in their first game by Malaysia 107-31.
In boxing, Malaysian flyweight Rakib Ahmad beat Cambodian Var Daraith, and Vilasak Khouandy of Laos beat Hem Sokhet, also of Cambodia, reported the Borneo Bulletin.
(Reporting by Ham Samnang and Victoria Stagg Elliott)