Minister of Civil Service Hun Many has expressed his commitment to support the development of the Cambodian Taekwondo ITF Federation (CTF) in order to further enhance the sport and unlock its full potential in the Kingdom.

The minister made the announcement during closing ceremony of the Hun Many Cup tournament at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) last weekend. 

The inaugural games were organised by CTF deputy head Phan Vanroth with the backing of CTF chairman Keo Remy.

“Vanroth, Remy and I were in high spirits coming here, and I have witnessed the progress of the CTF, step by step. Additionally, I have observed the enthusiasm of the athletes and the support from their parents. This energy has motivated me to join the CTF,” Many said.

“It doesn’t matter where taekwondo originated, or which country is it connected to. A sport is just a sport and nothing else. From today onwards, I am emotionally invested. I support the federation’s efforts and the spirit of the athletes,” he added.

During the closing ceremony of the event, Many emphasised that the essence of athletics lies not only in the competition to win but also in maintaining solidarity, brotherhood and friendship in times of peace.

“Indeed, on the field, we may be opponents, but at the end of the game, we are friends. Regardless of where or when taekwondo originated, I emotionally connect with the athletes and encourage them for their dedication and perseverance. It is in this spirit that the 2023 Hun Many Cup was held,” he added.

The closing ceremony of the Hun Many Cup tournament at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) last weekend. ITF

He viewed the tournament as a test of the competitors’ abilities, stating that they had gained valuable experience and honed their skills to compete successfully on both the national and international stages. 

The CTF team had previously earned gold, silver and bronze medals at both the Asian and ASEAN Games.

Citing a report, Buonhing Sothya, secretary-general of the CTF, stated that 18 clubs and associations had registered to take part in the competition. Among these, there were 36 spots for delegates, alongside 107 male and 71 female athletes. 

Participants were divided into two groups: those aged 13 to 17 years old and adults over the age of 18 who competed in a total of 28 events.

The report detailed that the matches spanned three days, running from November 16-19 at the National Olympic Stadium. 

The Ministry of Interior’s team secured the top spot with 6 gold, 7 silver and 9 bronze medals. The Kdey Chas Club claimed 6 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze. The Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) secured 5 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze, while the club from Koh Kong province won 4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals.

“After the matches, we identified talented, skilled and courageous athletes who are ready to compete at both national and international levels. Particularly, we have identified new athletes, and we plan to invite them to compete for a spot on the 2024 national team and represent Cambodia during the 2024 10th Asian ITF Taekwondo Championship in India,” Sothya added.