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Cambodian gymnastics prodigy trains in China

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Vey Pheaktra is training in China for eight months in the build up to the SEA Games. Chhorn Norn

Cambodian gymnastics prodigy trains in China

Cambodia last week sent young gymnastics hope Vey Pheaktra to Guangzhou in China’s Guangdong province for an eight-month training camp as he gears up for a successful bow at the 30th SEA Games at the end of this year.

Pheaktra expressed confidence the extensive training camp would boost his chances in the biennial regional sporting spectacular, to be held in in the Philippines from November 30 to October 11.

“With the training in China, I believe I will improve my performance by 60 or 70 per cent. Although I go to train alone, I am strongly committed and will try my hardest in training in my preparation to compete in SEA Games and other international sporting events and win medals for my country.

Pheaktra previously trained in Thailand for a week ahead of the Asian Junior Championships held there in May 2014. Last year he attended the One Belt One Road training camp in Jiangsu province from September 24 to October 1.

Ahead of the athlete’s departure, Cambodian Gymnastics Federation general-secretary Nay Phonna told reporters this was not the first time the Kingdom’s athletes have attended training camps in China in the build-up to major tournaments.

Under the leadership of National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) president Thong Khon, who is also Minister of Tourism, the Kingdom’s top sporting body has built a close relationship with China’s Guangdong province, with Cambodian athletes being offered the chance to train there with top coaches and athletes.

“Cambodia has been collaborating with China, particularly Guangdong, for more than two years. With this training camp in China, I have every confidence we will get good results. We have set getting to the final our target, even though we know it is not easy to win SEA Games medals. The focus will be on technique as he trains with some of Guangzhou’s top athletes.”

Phonna added Pheaktra’s long term mission has been supported by NOCC president Khon and vice-president Gordon Tang, and the Ministrty of Education, Youth and Sport is also providing monthly funding to support Pheaktra during his training in China.