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Cambodia to host 10th ASEAN taekwondo championships next month

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment
PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) – Cambodia will host the 10th
taekwondo championships of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) on April 7-9, Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of National
Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), said Tuesday.
“It will be the first time Cambodia hosts the international
taekwondo tournament event,” he said. “We hope that it will go smoothly
and we will plan to host other international sports events in the
future.”
There will be around 300 athletes and coaches from seven countries
in ASEAN taking part in the event including Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia,
the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, except Indonesia,
Brunei and Myanmar.
The tournament will be held at Olympic Stadium with the support from ASEAN Taekwondo Federation.
The tournaments are classified into two categories-underage athletes and adult athletes.
Categories: Other Sports, Sport News

Japanese judo champs thrive in Paris

February 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Reigning Japanese world champions Haruna Asami (-48 kg), Junpei
Morishita (-66 kg) and Uzbek counterpart Rishod Sobirov (-60 kg) were
still in with a chance of adding Tournoi de Paris glory to their trophy
cabinet’s after Saturday’s action.
Japanese Haruna Asami (L) fights with Brazilian Sarah Menezes during
their women’s under 48kg fight final at the Paris International Judo
Tournament at the Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy. Asami saw off
Hungary’s Eva Csernoviczki by ippon in her final after earlier scoring
another ippon success over Menezes.
Adding to the importance of the Paris grand slam event is the fact
that this year’s world championships will also be held in the French
capital in August.
Asami saw off Hungary’s Eva Csernoviczki by
ippon in her final after earlier scoring another ippon success over
Sarah Menezes of Brazil.
Her win saw her emulate compatriot Ryoko
Tani Tamura, an iconic figure in Japan for her 2000 and 2004 Olympic
titles as well as seven world championships.
Morishita had to go
right to the wire to see off Armenian Armen Nazaryan by waza-ari after
earlier eliminating Frenchman David Larose.
Sobirov, a bronze medalist at the 2008 Beijing Games, defeated Armenian Hovhannes Davtyan by ippon.
Mongolia’s
Bundmaa Munkhbaatar beat Soraya Haddad of Algeria by ippon for success
in the women’s -52kg category and there was a -57kg women’s success for
Automne Pavia of the host nation after she outlasted Japan’s Aiko Sato
by waza-ari.
Another Frenchwoman bested Asian opposition in the -63kg category as Gevrise Emane bt Lili Xu of China by waza-ari.
In the men’s -73 kg, Japan’s Riki Nakaya saw off Attila Ungvari by ippon
Categories: Other Sports, Sport News

Grassroots baseball gives Cambodian youngsters big dreams

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

By Terry McCoy
FOR THE PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Monday, January 10, 2011

Learning about technique
Terry McCoy | For the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
KAMPONG
THOM, Cambodia — Out in the flat plains of central Cambodia, an
unmistakable sound rises above a din of screaming motorcycles and
grunting water buffaloes.
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
To Chun Heng, 16, the sound carries something exotic and addicting.
It’s hard to explain, he says underneath his stilted wooden hut, firing
another fastball at a brick retaining wall and gloving the ricochet. Thwack!
That’s what makes baseball, at its purest, beautiful to Chun. No
thinking required: throw, catch, hit, run. In these moments he can
forget that he’s bad at school, that he sleeps on a wooden floor, that
he has no real prospects for success.
Baseball is baseball, even in rural Cambodia — where despite little
American influence, crushing heat and a cultural apathy toward most
things new or foreign, America’s pastime has forged into the
countryside. Since 2005, four baseball fields have sprouted in places
that once were rice paddies, sparking a smattering of grassroots
baseball programs across the provinces.
Indeed, if you build it, they will come.
Preparing to play
Terry McCoy | For the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
So it went on a recent Saturday at a rural high school in Kampong
Thom province miles from Cambodia’s newest professional-sized park.
More than 30 seventh-grade students gathered to make sense of this
strange game of bats, balls, rubber plate things and … batter’s
helmets? About 10 Khmer die each day in motorcycle accidents —
frequently without helmets — but the danger posed by rubber balls at
this practice had every black-haired head under a helmet.
The students played until dusk, spilling English baseball vernacular into strings of Khmer.
Far removed from the simple joy at this practice, however, complications abound.
With the exception of some Latin American countries, baseball
doesn’t fit the developing world. That’s because the game necessitates
loads of stuff — “So much equipment! So much equipment!” gasped one
Khmer coach — and baseball’s American vibe doesn’t exactly groove with
places such as Cambodia. Hot dogs would be an unusual side to a bowl of
rice.
The best gauge of a grassroots baseball program is whether it
produces professional talent, said Jim Small, vice president of Major
League Baseball Asia. Results, in that case, aren’t great. The league
invested in 31 developing countries since 2005, but of them only Panama
and Colombia sent a player to a recent big league roster, MLB records
show.
“What’s the end game? Are we going to get a Major League player from
Cambodia? No, probably not,” Small said, adding that $100,000 in
resources went to Cambodia. “But I’ve seen the difference this game
makes for these kids, and we’re going to keep doing it. I don’t know if
baseball’s going to catch on or be wildly popular … but it’s the
right thing to do.”
There’s one more hitch. Few care or know about the sport here,
according to interviews with players, coaches, villagers and baseball
park developers.
Televisions broadcast soccer or boxing, but baseball? “Oh,” one man said, “you must mean cricket.”
“In Cambodia, no one pays attention to baseball,” said So Pisot, who
teaches Khmer literature at a high school near Kampong Thom’s baseball
field. “People don’t give any value to it here. We don’t have the
resources for baseball.”
Judging from the scoreboard, the Cambodia national baseball effort
needs more than just additional resources. At its first international
showing in the Southeast Asian Games three years ago in Thailand, teams
from Burma and Indonesia drubbed the Khmer squad in five games by a
combined score of 88-8. Results have improved little since.
So if Cambodia is too poor for baseball, there’s little interest,
and the entire concept of winning at the sport is as foreign as New
York City, how is it that baseball is growing in such a country?
Reports of the traction might be inflated, said Elaine Negroponte,
who initiated a grassroots baseball program in 2005 in a remote
northern province. The game was imported: returned refugees brought it
in, or Negroponte and other Americans bolstered interest in rural areas.
Baseball succeeded in other Asian countries, notably Japan and
Taiwan, because the sport grew organically, later “reflecting” the
national identity, according to research published by the United States
Sports Academy. The sport achieved this through global exposure,
government support and private-sector financing.
Although Cambodia isn’t in the same ballpark, the sport has
opportunity here, some baseball activists maintain.They say only one
thing needs to happen.
“The Dominican Republic has all these people who’ve made a fortune
at baseball, and if there was just one Khmer who got on a team and made
a fortune, everyone would want to do it,” Negroponte said. “They’d be
ripping them out of school and sending them to baseball camp.”
So every night at 5 o’clock, Chun Heng rockets pitch after pitch at
a crumbling brick wall amid chickens, dreaming of what boys in the
United States dream of: a chance at the bigs.
Categories: Other Sports, Sport News

They’re off and racing

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment
101230_26

Photo by: Sreng Meng Srun

As
many as 250 staff members from three local-based organisations, Grand
Phnom Penh, F Magazine and Sophy & Sina, took part in an annual road
run in Phnom Penh this week.
Phnom Penh Post
Categories: Other Sports, Sport News

Thongchai wins Cambodian Open golf, Lahiri secures Asian Tour card

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment
Siem Reap (Cambodia),
Dec 12 : India’s Anirban Lahiri secured his Asian Tour card for 2011
with a solid fourth place finish at the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open
here Sunday. Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand won the title.

Lahiri, who was on the bubble at 61st place before this week, shot a
three-under 69 despite an ugly triple bogey on the par-4 seventh hole.

India’s other challenger on Sunday Himmat Rai also shot a 69 with four birdies and just one bogey to finish at tied 19th.

Thongchai,
three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Sunday showed why he is one
of Asia’s best. He was in a class of his own when he posted a final
round seven-under-par 65 to win the $300,000 Asian Tour event by four
shots with a total of 21-under-par 267.

While Lahiri’s hopes of
winning his maiden Asian Tour title did not materialise, he was able to
take comfort with his solid play that led him to this third top-10
finish this season.

“I only made one mistake today, a triple
bogey on the seventh hole but I am really proud that I made four
birdies in a row,” said Lahiri.

With his Tour card also secured,
the 23-year-old Indian is now looking forward to cap his season on a
winning note at the season finale Black Mountain Masters next week. He
was fourth at the event last year.

“I am happy with the way it
has ended up. I played really well in Black Mountain last year and now
I have got to go there and try and win and get my rankings further up,”
said Lahiri.

Japan’s Kenichi Kuboya, who held the lead for three
rounds, had to settle for the second place after signing off with a 70
for a 271 total at the Phokeethra Country Club.

Korea’s Kim
Hyung-sung returned with a 72 to take third place on 273 while Lahiri
and Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands took a share of fourth place
on matching 274s.

Australia’s Marcus Both together with Malaysia’s Iain Steel and Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng took equal sixth on 275.

“I
played really solid all week and I have no complaints. This is my
second win here and I am really proud of myself,” said Thongchai.

It was a close tussle at the top with Thongchai and Kuboya fighting neck-to-neck for supremacy through the first 12 holes.

Thongchai
stormed home convincingly with three birdies in his last three holes to
secure his first win this season and a record 13th career title on the
Asian Tour.

“If I continue my good form, there is a good chance
of winning again next week,” said Thongchai of his title aspirations at
next week’s Black Mountain Masters.


–IANS 


Categories: Other Sports, Sport News

Japan’s Kuboya takes early lead at Cambodian Open

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment
SIEM REAP (Cambodia): Japan’s Kenichi Kuboya opened his campaign strongly by posting a flawless seven-under-par 65 to take the first round lead at the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open on Thursday.

Thailand’s Atiwit Janewattananond, who made history by becoming the
youngest player at 14 years and 71 days to make the cut at the Asian
Tour season-opener in February, carded a 66 for second place.

Bangladesh’s Siddikur, who goes by one name, and defending champion
Marcus Both of Australia scored matching 67s to share third place at
the $300,000 event.

Kuboya, who teed off in the front-nine in
the morning, posted his first birdie on the par-four fourth before
adding successive birdies on the eighth and ninth holes to reach the
halfway mark in 33.

He birdied holes 10, 12, 16 and 17 after the turn, giving the Japanese a one-shot cushion going into the second round.

“I like this golf course as it really suits my game. Although the winds
were picking up mid-way through my round, I still putted really well
and I believed that gave me the confidence to do so well today,” said
Kuboya.

Meanwhile Atiwit, who turned professional at the
King’s Cup just a fortnight ago, got off to an encouraging start but
said he was planning to adopt a defensive approach for his second round
at the Phokeethra Country Club.

“I feel that I’m not hitting
the ball long enough. As such, I don’t plan to go on the offensive and
attack the pins as some of these shots may cost me dearly,” said the
young Thai, who posted seven birdies.

“I hope to continue
what I’ve done today and hopefully it’ll be another good round
tomorrow,” added Atiwit, whose only blemish to his card was a bogey on
the par-four 10th.

Siddikur continued to make good on his promise to spearhead the rise of golf in Bangladesh with another inspired performance.

Starting on the back-nine, Siddikur posted three birdies on holes 12,
13 and 17 to reach the turn in 33. He continued his birdie blitz on the
par-five second and fourth hole to return home comfortably in 67.

“Playing conditions were perfect today and I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” said Siddikur.

Another strong favourite, Both put up a stout defence of his title,
enjoying a blemish-free round, marking his card with birdies on the
fourth, eighth, ninth, 10th and 12th holes.

“You tend to feel a little bit of pressure especially when you’re the defending champion,” said the 31-year-old Australian.

“But once I got the first tee shot somewhere in the middle of the
fairway, I got more relaxed and did not feel that anxious any more.”

IndiaTimes

Categories: Other Sports, Sport News

Siem Reap set for 2010 Open

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment
A golfer tees off at the Phokeethra Country Club course, which is set
to host the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open from tomorrow. Photo Supplied
A view of Roluh Bridge, which was built in the 11th Century, leading up
to the clubhouse of Phokeethra Country Club in Siem Reap. Photo Supplied

The fourth edition of the Johnnie Walker
Cambodian Open golf tournament, which tees off tomorrow at the
Phokeethra Country Club in Siem Reap, offers Asian Tour pros a
penultimate stop to tidy up their tournament cards and avoid
qualification hassles for the next season.

The US$300,000 event,
the Kingdom’s richest sporting venture, is crucially important for the
touring pros to secure a safe berth within the comfort zone of the 65
top finishers at the end of the season. With the Black Mountain Masters
at Hua Hin in Thailand bringing the curtain down on the 2010 season a
week after this event, good performances in Siem Reap inevitably lead
to better placements.

In terms of prize money, the Cambodian
Open meets minimum Asian Tour standards but its timing makes a profound
impact on the field.

“Being the season’s last but one [event],
it could well shape the destiny of some players when they cross over to
the next,” Asian Tour Senior Director Htwe Hla Han told The Post
yesterday. “The winner gets a two-year exemption from the qualifiers
and the top five will directly get into the Black Mountain Masters.”

The
Singapore-based tour development executive added that “the main goal is
to spread golf to every corner of Asia, and an emerging market like
Cambodia plays an important role. The amateur talent is there to be
seen and it is time Cambodia sent out a pro on the Tour.”

The
heritage and history of Angkor Wat and the hospitality laid out for the
touring pros had made the Cambodian Open a popular tour destination.
The title sponsorship by Johnnie Walker and the Royal Government’s
unwavering support had clearly raised its stature, said Htwe.

Meanwhile,
the busiest man at the sprawling Phokeethra Country Club is Operation
Manager Jack Hedges, who brings his European Tour experience at to his
one-year appointment in Siem Reap.

Hedges, who marshalls a
staff of about 300 at the course for its showcase event, is in no doubt
that golf’s profile has gone up and the Kingdom is fast developing into
a major destination in the region.

“We can clearly see the
growth year by year. I will not be surprised if one or two breakthrough
the amateur ranks for Cambodia and this Asian Tour stop is an important
one for local golfers,” he said.
“It is a longer course. It is a
challenging one. It calls on everyone to put their thinking caps on and
the totally contrasting holes also make it a bit tricky.”

Top course for top Tour event
The
first world-class international golf course in Seam Reap, the
Phokeethra Country Club, is ranked among the top-five of the best new
courses in Asia by Asian Golf Monthly Magazine. The grounds are steeped
in Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage.

Located next to the
clubhouse and first tee is the ancient 32-metre wide Roluh Bridge,
which dates back to the 11th century and represents the link between
the past and the present day. The Phokeethra Country Club’s slogan
invites the golfing fraternity to “Tee-off in the 11th Century and
finish your round in the 21st Century”, with the Roluh Bridge as the
central feature of the club’s logo.

The weather would not have
been a factor at all but for yesterday evening’s unseasonal showers and
forecasts of sporadic rain over the next two days. As one local golfer
put it: “Rain and Siem Reap are not the best of friends. I do not
really remember the last time it rained here.” Undaunted by the
meteorologists’ predictions, the pros used every minute of the last
practice
session yesterday.

Today is a day of fun, with a
Pro-Am event on the cards followed by a gala dinner at the famous Bayon
Temple. However, tomorrow morning it is back to serious business with
competitors teeing off from 7am.

Phnom Penh Post
Categories: Other Sports, Sport News