Cambodian boxers showed everyone that they are capable hosts by jointly winning the most gold medals among five other countries to finish first in the Kun Khmer SEA Championship 2022, held in Sihanoukville during this year's Sea Festival.
Across 11 different weight classes, the Cambodian national boxing team won seven gold, two silver and one bronze; followed by Vietnamese boxers who won two gold, six silver and two bronze and third place went to Myanmar's fighters who won two gold, one silver and three bronze.
Malaysia came in fourth with three silver and three bronze, the Philippines won one silver and two bronze and Indonesia won one bronze medal, while Thailand just sent a delegation of technical officials to participate in the Kun Khmer SEA Championship but did not send any athletes to compete.
Sen Bunthen, assistant coach of the Cambodian national boxing team, noted that most of the athletes sent by Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia to participate at the Kun Khmer SEA Championship 2022 were not on their national teams.
"We have done really well in this event and our boxers will do their best to prepare for the 2023 SEA Games. We will do our best to win gold medals for our nation," the boxer-turned-coach told The Post.
The competition was well-attended by residents of Sihanoukville and visitors attending the Sea Festival. December 10 saw fighters Lao Chetra, Him Kimrieng and Mei Seung all win gold medals for Cambodia while former SEA Games gold medalist Po Phearith, also known as Yen Dina, went home with just a bronze after he was disqualified in the semi-finals when he didn't make weight for his class.
December 11 matches included Khun Bora, also known as Khim Bora, defeating Myanmar's Saw Mya Moe in the 60kg weight category, Kham Khlaneang defeating Vietnam's Ly Dieu Phuoc in the 51kg weight category and Phon Piseth defeating Vietnam's Ma Thanh Dang in the 48kg category for gold medals.
Cambodian boxer Touch Chanvattey won the women's gold medal in the 54kg weight category after defeating Vietnam's Nguyen Than Hang, but her national boxing teammates Van Voeun lost to Vietnam's Bui Thran Tan Tai in the 57kg weight category and Chea Chandeng lost to Vietnam's Pham Thi Diem Trang in the final, resulting in a silver medal.
Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), said: "For the Kun Khmer SEA Championship, this followed a standard arrangement on the way to the 2023 SEA Games, so it was called a preview event. I commend the committee who organised the event. Although we still had some shortcomings, our event arrangements went smoothly and safely."