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London 2012 Olympic Games

3444 Views 57 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  AsianDragons
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27.22s vs 27.03s is 0.19s or nearly a fifth of a second.
Hem Thon Ponleu

Event: Men’s 50m Freestyle Swimming
Date of Birth: 26/01/90
Home town: Dangkor district, Phnom Penh
Height: 1.75 metres
Weight: 61 kilograms
Coach: Hem Kiri
Years as an athlete: 7
School/College: Baktouk High School, now works as a sports teacher
Personal Best: 27.22 seconds – set at Shanghai competition in 2010
World record: 20.91 (Cesar Cielo – BRA)
Confidence of beating PB in London: 60-70%
Beijing training notes: Chinese coach could not speak any English. Every day, swam at least 10 kilometres

Thoughts on London: Happy to be part of the Olympic team and the chance to see famous sports stars. Looking forward to meeting swimming friends from other regional nations. Wants to visit Big Ben.

Message to Cambodian sports fans:
“I’d like to ask all Cambodian sports fans to please support me as I race for our country.”

canoeing should be fine for khmer since we are good at rowing, although canoeing and rowing are sort of different
A disappointing day at the track for Cambodia’s runners

Cambodia's athletics contingency succumbed to the Monday blues as both runners failed to register new personal bests on the track of the Olympic Stadium in London.

In Heat 2 of the men’s 800 metres competition held in the late morning, Cambodia’s Kieng Samorn showed some early promise but faded significantly during the second lap to come home dead last in 1:55:26, a season best but more than three seconds off his target time.

The 29-year-old from Ratanakkiri cited a clash with another runner during the opening circuit for his lack of form. “I’m devastated that I didn’t break my personal best,” he told the Post. “Another athlete’s leg hit mine and I couldn’t perform well after that.”

Samorn was clearly in awe of the occasion, using up a lot of nervous energy in the warm up by jogging past the stands, waving and striking poses to the point where stewards had to usher him to the starting line. For sure it was a once in a lifetime experience to compete in front of 80,000 screaming athletics fans at the Olympic Stadium, although you can’t help but wonder what could have been if he’d have saved all his enthusiasm for the race.

Starting in lane 3, Samorn kept the pace nicely as the competitors merged on the back straight and was only pushed to the rear right at the end of the first lap. The class of the field, however, was made apparent in the closing stages as the Cambodian fell further and further adrift.

Warm applause greeted his final efforts across the line, where he subsequently collapsed on the track. Britain’s Andrew Osagie went over to shake his hand having qualified for the semifinals in third.

Samorn had finished just over six seconds slower than the seventh-placed athlete, although this wasn’t the largest losing margin of the day. That ignominy belonged to Erzhan Askarov of Kyrgyzstan, who trotted in almost 11 seconds behind the penultimate runner in Heat 6.

At least the Cambodian can take heart in the fact that he’d run alongside, albeit very briefly, world-record holder David Rudisha of Kenya, who won Heat 2 in 1:45:90. The final of the men’s 800 metres is tomorrow night at 2am Cambodian time.

While the weather conditions couldn’t have been better for Samorn, with glorious sunshine bathing the stadium throughout the morning, his compatriot Chan Seyha clearly struggled in the chilly and damp conditions of the evening session during her women’s 200-metre heat.

Drawn in the dreaded inside lane of Heat 5, which included reigning world and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica, the 17-year-old Kandal province native was never in the race and recorded a time of 26.62, over a quarter of a second slower than her PB of 26.34.

“Of course I’m disappointed,” said an exhausted Seyha shortly after leaving the track. “It was so cold and windy. I couldn’t run my usual race.”

Under the circumstances, it was hard to tell if she benefited from new spiked shoes bought for her just a few days prior to the event by team sponsors NagaWorld. Without a synthetic track to train on in Phnom Penh, the sprinter may have to wait for her next international competition to lace them again.

It remains to be seen whether that event will be in the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar.

The final of the women’s 200 metres in London will be held tonight at 3am Cambodian time.
Taekwondo champ aims for the final kick

Thursday, 09 August 2012Dan Riley

It's five down and one to go as Cambodia’s last remaining athlete makes her Olympic dream a reality on Saturday. Sorn Davin has been training hard for the past six weeks at various venues across London ahead of her participation in the women’s over-67kg taekwondo competition at the South Arena 1 of London’s ExCel Centre.

The 20-year-old from Phnom Penh has been drawn against reigning Olympic champion, current world number two and second-seeded Maria del Rosario Espinoza of Mexico in the 12:30pm bout of Saturday’s preliminary round session.

However, should Sorn Davin lose in her opening contest, she may have another chance to fight via the repechages – under draw – which will be available only if the Mexican makes it to the gold medal match.

The repechages round – scheduled for 8:30pm the same night – would pit the Cambodian against the opponent who lost to Espinoza in the quarterfinal, with the winner needing one more victory to claim a bronze medal.

Any win over any competitor would be a ground-breaking result for Cambodia, which has not recorded a single victory in any event in its entire Olympic history.

“I want to be the first Cambodian to win [at the Olympics],” Davin told the Post after a training session on Tuesday at the ExCel Centre. “I’ll be a bit nervous before the tournament, but as soon as I start to fight, I’ll be fine.”

Sorn Davin is Cambodia’s most decorated athlete competing at the London Games, having won a silver medal at the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia and a bronze at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.

She also finished fourth at the Asian Olympic qualifiers in Bangkok last November and fifth at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

“Her experience is very good. She has been to many international competitions,” said her South Korean coach Choi Yong-sok.

The Seoul-born taekwondo master, a 35-year veteran of the sport who accepted an invitation from the Minister of Youth, Education and Sports to instruct the national team back in 1996, has been training Davin for the past seven years.

“She’s the best Cambodia taekwondo athlete I’ve seen. But at the Olympic Games, all players are the best of the best.”

The taekwondo tournament in London sees a total of 128 athletes from 63 National Olympic Committees compete over eight weight categories – four women’s and four men’s – and welcomes a few changes since the 2008 Beijing Games.

“As a martial art, of course taekwondo is full of tradition, but we are not afraid to innovate,” World Taekwondo Federation Secretary-General Jean-Marie Ayer told reporters at a media conference on Monday ahead of yesterday’s start to the events at the ExCel Centre.

In order to make the “action on the field of play more exciting”, organisers have reduced the size of the competition area by two metres on each side to 8 metres by 8 metres and have introduced a 10-second rule, which penalises passive players who try to avoid combat.

An electronic scoring system known as PSS (Protector and Scoring System) that registers valid kicks to the body will be deployed for the first time at a Games, as will an instant video replay “to ensure the correction of possible judging errors at the request of the coach”.

Successful kicks receive one point for a body hit, two points for a spinning body shot, three points for a strike to the head and four points for a spinning move to the head, which must be made with one continuous twisting motion of 180 degrees or more.

“Our sport is now easier for the referees to judge, easier for the public to understand, and more attractive for the media and TV,” added WTF technical delegate Philippe Bouedo.

As the founding nation of taekwondo, South Korea has a long tradition of supremacy to defend at the London Games having won the maximum four golds in Beijing. However, rivals from Turkey, China, Mexico, Iran and the US are expected to challenge for medals in the four days of competition.

Although Sorn Davin has now fully acclimatised to life in the cooler climes of England, she won’t be making plans to emigrate anytime soon. “Cambodia is better,” she said with a smile.
First match, and face 2008 Gold Medalist, doesn't look good.
As expected, she lost to 2008 Olympic Champion.
And since the defending Champion lose in the Quaterfinal, Sorn Davin did not even get a chance to for the repechages round.
Tonight is the closing ceremony
Strictly speaking it will be 3am tomorrow morning for us in Cambodia.

I will watch the replay on youtube tomorrow when I wake up.
Tonight is the closing ceremony
Cambodia team at Olympic openning

Davin is the flag holder
Davin scores courageous Olympic fight

Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia can take heart from numerous performances at the London Games, none least so that of their final Olympian Sorn Davin in the women’s over-67kg taekwondo competition at the ExCel Centre on Saturday.

The lanky 20-year-old from Phnom Penh can return home with her head held high after losing in her opening bout to second seed and reigning Olympic champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza of Mexico by a razor-thin points decision.

The last women’s preliminary round match of Saturday’s morning session saw Davin, clad in chung (blue) colours, pursue a historic victory over her highly rated opponent in hong (red). With the music pumping and about two-thirds of the stands still full, the Cambodian came out looking confident and very nearly registered the shock result she was so desperately looking for.

Just 46 seconds into the first round, 24-year-old Espinoza dropped to the mat apparently injured in her hip by an innocuous looking clash with Davin. A few agonising seconds ticked away, but the Mexican slowly rose to her feet for the fight to continue with no points on the scoreboard.

Referee Renata Crkvenac of Croatia had to goad the martial artists into combat, with both guilty of an overly cautious approach.

It was Davin who drew first blood in the 80th second of the two-minute opening round with a clean kick to the body to score a single point. Almost immediately, however, Espinoza pegged things back level with a defensive punch landed as she was retreating.

The second round then saw the favourite pick up an early Kyong-go (warning penalty) as she looked to gain a foothold in the contest. Davin was having none of it and attempted an audacious kick to the head as her rival fell backwards. “I felt the sole of my foot touch the back of her head,” Davin told the Post after the match.

Her coach Choi Yong-sok also thought he saw contact and appealed for a video referral by review judge Vu Xuan Thanh of Vietnam. With three points up for grabs for a successful head kick, the fighters stood nervously on the mat awaiting a decision. Sadly, the appeal was rejected and the score remained locked at 1-1.

Espinoza, who like Davin was the flag-bearer of her delegation during the Parade of Nations at the Olympics Opening Ceremony on July 27, seized the advantage with another defensive punch to go one point up midway through the round. While the Mexican was vocally more aggressive, Davin was silent but not violent enough to convert her multitude of kicks into points.

The third and final round garnered a rousing response from the crowd, who favoured the champion. Espinoza’s tactic of firing off plenty of punches was not without its risks, and she picked up two quick Kyong-gos to receive a Gam-jeom (deduction penalty), granting Davin a free point and a glimpse of glory.

In the dying moments, however, the Cambodian fell victim to yet another defensive punch from her opponent to see her Olympic dream crudely snatched away.

“Why no points for me?” said Davin as she left the arena, with the announcer hailing her remarkable effort as the underdog.

Coach Choi, meanwhile, was left frustrated and exasperated by the outcome. “I don’t understand,” he said repeatedly after the bout.

“Today, Davin’s condition was good. Her confidence and concentration was very high. I felt this was going to be a lucky day for us.”

The South Korean taekwondo master, who speaks near fluent Cambodian having lived in the Kingdom for the past 16 years, noted that all three of the Mexican’s winning points were won by punches. The automated Protector Scoring System, which was making its debut at an Olympic Games, did not come to their rescue.

“Only the judges can score punches,” added Choi. The three seated officials that took care of the match hailed from Spain, Azerbaijan and Iceland.

Interestingly, just one other women’s match had scored less points in total during the morning session on Saturday, with the majority enjoying significantly larger tallies including an epic 17-16 sudden
death victory by Slovenia’s Nusa Rajher.

Despite his dejection, coach Choi needed to remain upbeat about the chance of making the repechages round later that evening for a shot at the bronze medal. The option required Davin’s vanquisher Espinoza to get all the way through to the final.

“Now we support Mexico,” Choi said with a resigned smile. But it was again not to be their day.

Espinoza was beaten in her very next match, a gripping 6-4 quarterfinal loss to 20-year-old Mandic Milica of Serbia.

Sorn Davin shrieked in disappointment from the stands as she watched the doors of her last chance saloon slam shut. “I’m going home [to the Olympic Village],” she said eventually with a departing bow to her coach.

Choi slumped back in his chair, still visibly bemused by the outcome of their preliminary contest. “The official result was a loss, but for me Davin was the winner,” he said.

Had the Cambodian lost to Milica in the first round, she would have made it safely through to the repechage as the young Serb blitzed all in her path to a claim the gold, beating top seeded French fighter Anne-Caroline Graffe in the final on Saturday night. In a cruel twist of fate, Espinoza bagged a bronze via the repechage along with Russia’s Anastasia Baryshnikova.

Following last night’s Closing Ceremony, Davin and coach Choi will fly back to Phnom Penh with the rest of the delegation after a short stopover in Paris. They will begin making preparations for next year’s SEA Games in Myanmar, where Davin will look to go one better than her silver medal from Indonesia 2011.

She will likely be a strong consideration for the 2016 Rio Games.
She should have got 3 points when she kick on the head of Espinoza of Mexico
Was it shown on TV, I try to find it in the youtube Olympic channel, but can't find it, the 67+kg youtube start with the 2nd round.
She should have got 3 points when she kick on the head of Espinoza of Mexico
There is a rumour of parade planned for the Cambodian Olympic athletes through the airport to the city
oh, as if our traffic isn't bad enough.
While our Olympic people I think is about time these banner get taken down.

It is quite interesting with our small number of olympians, we actually have a website for them, and it is not in the Cambodian domain.
^^ khmer-america fan page???
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