Thursday, March 19, 2009

Khmer Boxers Prepare for Thai Competition

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Cambodia plans to send four nationally selected universal boxers to compete in the “31st King Cup 2009” April 3-10 in Bangkok, Thailand, said Um Yurann, President of the Cambodian Amateur Boxing Association (CABA).

Yurann said the “King Cup Championship” will provide the good opportunity for Cambodian universal boxers to compete on the international level. He expects they will win medals for Cambodia.

This is the first time as Cambodia has planned to send the universal boxers to the King Cup Competition. The main objective of competing at the international level to earn medals and bring honor to Cambodia, Yurann said. It will also allow the athletes to improve and provide the opportunity to exchange techniques other universal boxers in preparation for future international competitions.

He said Cambodia made the decision to take part in this year’s competition after receiving an invitation from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) in early March. About 70 countries will send their boxers to the competition in Thailand, according to the AIBA.

Cambodia’s competitors are Chey Kosal, 69-kilogram weight class, from Preah Khan Reach Club; Hin Say Heng, 75-kilogram weight class, from Ministry of Interior’s Club; Phal Sophat, 60-kilogram weight class, from Damrey Prich Club; and Svay Ratha, 60-kilogrm weight class, from Military Police Club in Phnom Penh.

Yurann said they are considered the most outstanding and excellent boxers in Cambodia. He added that they have a lot of fighting experiences and have learned many techniques through both local and international competitions.

“I strongly hope that with hard training, talent skills and experienced fighting, the Cambodian boxing team will bring the success and medals to Cambodia,” Yurann said.

Mel Kado, Deputy Director of the Youth and Sport Department and Secretary General of CABA, said from 1994 to 1998, Cambodia sent the kick boxers to the King Cup in Thailand and won many medals.

However, Kado said since the Thais declared the kick boxing a Thai sport, going by the local name “Muy Thai,” Cambodia boycotted the King Cup until now.

Yurann said Cambodia will attend 11 international boxing competitions in 2009 in Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Laos and Vietnam.

In preparation for the international competitions, Yurann said the boxers now taking part in intense training at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh. They received financial support from CABA and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

Yurann said CABA plans to establish Khmer Traditional Boxing clubs in Australia, France and the United States to promote the Cambodian style called “Kbach Kun Boran Khmer” throughout the world.

There are more 50 excellent boxers in Cambodia, according to Yurann. He said CABA plans to host “World Traditional Boxing” competition in Phnom Penh in 2010.

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