Cambodia Taekwondo Athletes Show Potential at SEA Games

A round-up of Cambodia’s performance on day one in taekwondo categories featuring poomsae and freestyle competitions at the Games
Cambodia’s taekwondo team. Kiripost/Meas Molika
Cambodia’s taekwondo team. Kiripost/Meas Molika

Cambodia's taekwondo athletes won five medals at the 32nd SEA Games, including one silver and four bronze medals. The athletes' success is a boost for Cambodia's hopes of winning more medals at the Games.

On Friday, the opening day of the taekwondo competition in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games was held at the Chroy Changvar Convention Center, Hall F, Phnom Penh.

Cambodia won one silver and four bronze medals in five different categories under the taekwondo poomsae and freestyle competitions but no gold medals.

The coach, Korean Yong Sok Choi, said this was because it was a new competition for the young Cambodian athletes, and that these achievements showed how hard they trained.

On Friday, Sok Choi told Kiripost that Cambodia was unable to win a gold medal in the freestyle competition as it was the first time they were attempting the sport.

Training was also conducted over a short period of time, so they could not acquire adequate skills for the competition.

“We are participating in a competition that is new to us. We have less experience and since we did not practice much, we have less skills and are weak. However, the students tried their best, that's why we got bronze medals here,” Sok Choi said.

According to him, Cambodia’s taekwondo team had just returned from Korea where they underwent a one-month training for the SEA Games.

Although they missed out on a gold medal in the freestyle and poomsae competitions, clinching only one silver and four bronze medals, the coach was proud and happy of his students' achievements.

“They are all talented athletes. I see they tried hard and won medals. I’m very satisfied with that,” he said.

The taekwondo competition had eight categories. They comprised Men’s Freestyle Individual, Men’s Recognised Poomsae Individual, Men’s Recognised Poomsae Team, Women’s Freestyle Individual, Women’s Recognised Poomsae Individual, Women’s Recognised Poomsae Team, Mixed Freestyle Team and Mixed Recognised Poomsae Pairs.

In the first category, Men’s Freestyle Individual, Cambodia’s Keo Moni and Vietnam’s Van Huy Hua bagged the bronze medal with a final score of 6.54 and 6.84, respectively. Thailand’s Jiraphong Khetlak won the gold after scoring 6.9 while the silver medal went to Indonesia’s Wawan Saputra with a final score of 6.88.

In the Men’s Recognised Poomsae Individual competition, Cambodia’s Chhorn Kimhak won the bronze medal along with Myanmar’s Kaung Zin Khant with the final score of 7.36 and 7.2, respectively. The gold medal went to Philippines’ Patrick King Dela Cruz Perez, who earned 7.46 points, while Chin Ken Haw from Malaysia took silver with 7.38 points.

The only silver medal for Cambodia in this discipline was won by Voeun Sitha in the Women’s Freestyle Individual after gaining 6.18 points. The gold medal went to Thailand’s Sasipha Chuphon who scored 6.44 points and Myanmar’s Nine Akri Soe took home the bronze medal after scoring 5.62 points.

Cambodia’s Mang Kanithyda bagged the bronze medal, having earned 7.09 points in the Women’s Recognised Poomsae Individual, with Laos’ Yotthida Khenphokham who scored 6.97 points. Nur Humaira Abdul Kadir from Malaysia won gold with 7.43 points while Singapore’s Diyanah Aqidah Muhammad Dian Khudhairi took silver with a total score of 7.26.

In the Mixed Freestyle Team, the Cambodian team got the bronze medal with the Philippine team. The Vietnamese team got the gold medal, and Thailand got the silver medal.

Cambodia did not win any medals in the Mixed Recognised Poomsae Pairs, Women’s Recognised Poomsae team and Men’s Recognised Poomsae categories.