Team Cambodia’s Kun Khmer fighters lit up the medals table in the newly-offered sport, with the national boxers claiming a total of 14 gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
The team managed to medal in all 19 classes staged at the 32nd SEA Games, with the Kun Khmer men’s team setting the phenomenal record of taking gold in all categories.
They began their astonishing run on May 6, when Kan Meng Hong took the top spot in the Kun Kru event -- a performance category featuring the Thvay Bangkom Kru, which is performed before all fights.
On May 10, Lao Chetra, Kham Khla Neang, Phun Piseth, Him Kim Rieng and Map Theara won gold medals in their respective weight categories.
In the May 11 finals matches, held at the Elephant Hall of the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Phuon Lang Kosin beat the Philippines’ Kristian Satatan Narca on points in the 57kg class. Khun Bora, better known as Kim Bora, knocked out Laos' Attaxay Sihabout in the first round of the 60.5kg class.
Tith Sophoan automatically took gold in the 71kg weight class when his Vietnamese rival Nguyen Thong Quan could not advance to the finals due to a leg injury.
Lao Chantrea boxer beat Vietnamese fighter Nguyen Thanh Tung on points in the 75kg class, while Prum Samnang also claimed a points victory over Myanmar’s Tun Tun Min in the 81kg final.
The women’s team were able to secure two golds, three silver and two bronze across their seven events.
Meuy Soeng took gold in the Kun Kru event, while Touch Chanvattey claimed a points victory over Nguyen Thi Chieu of Vietnam in the 54kg final. Meuy Soeug, Sem Samnang and Tuon Srey Pin were unable to overcome their respective Vietnamese opponents in the finals, coming away with silver medals.
Team Cambodia’s incredible medal haul in Kun Khmer’s first appearance at the regional biennial multi-sports event has set a high bar for future representatives of the sport, the traditional Cambodian form of kickboxing.
Vietnam was able to claim five gold, eight silver and four bronze medals. Laos earned five silver and six bronze, while Myanmar took two silver and eight bronze. The Philippines will return home with one silver and five bronze, while Malaysia was able to secure five bronze medals.