Indonesia won a gold medal in men's volleyball after beating host Cambodia 3-0 at the 32nd SEA Games in Phnom Penh on Monday.
Cambodia earned a silver in the final after the Olympic Stadium defeat in a match cheered loudly by fans shouting “Cambodia Cambodia.”
Indonesia defeated Cambodia 25-21 in the first set, 25-10 in the second set and 25-10 in the third set. The host team looked tired after narrowly beating Thailand 3-2 on Sunday in the semi-final.
Cambodia volleyball national team coach, Li Jun, told reporters after the match that the obstacle was that Cambodia was unable to block Indonesian attacks.
“They played very fast, both the serve and rhythm of passes. They played low balls that we had a hard time blocking and receiving,” Jun, who is from China, said via a translator.
“In short, every strike of our volleyball feels like we're really struggling with them, in terms of serves and blocks. It was very difficult for us to break them up. However, the silver medal is the best in Cambodian history, but I believe that if we try harder, we will do better.”
He added that after the match, some of the Cambodian players will retire and that he will try to attract more young players into the squad.
Captain of the Cambodian volleyball team, Soun Channaro, said he will retire after the match due to his health and that he wants a new generation to join the squad.
“This is true, my decision is to retire. I am old and want the younger generation to show their work and experience to the nation,” Channaro told reporters.
“It is because of health problems, you know, we are sick, we have less energy as we already know sports requires a strong body and no pain. If we are sick, we can no longer. So I will leave to the next generation who are physically fit,” Channaro added.
“Since I started this career, I had never seen the Cambodian people coming to support like this. It is more than representing all the players, being a representative of a team. I would like to thank all the fans who came to support,” he said.
Chheang Phearoth, another team player, said that even though Cambodia did not win gold, he was still happy with the result and he will try his best next time.
“I feel regret about tonight's match because we could not win the gold medal. But it is also okay because Cambodia broke the record by earning a silver medal in volleyball,” Phearoth told Kiripost after the match.
“I am excited that we got a silver medal, it's 64 years of history. I expect that in 2025, we will be able to reach another level and we will do our best,” he added.