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Vietnam ready to excel in new sports at SEA Games 32 

 Thursday, April 13,2023

AsemconnectVietnam - Cambodia, the host country of the 32nd SEA Games, will feature never-before-seen sports in previous events and the Vietnamese delegation will not only participate but also aim to win medals.

 Kun bokator, formerly known as kun l'bokator, is a traditional Cambodian martial art that dates back 2,000 years.

This ancient art employs a diverse range of attack techniques utilising hands, feet, elbows and knees, as well as various weapons, such as long and short sticks and swords.

Kun bokator's system of movements is incredibly intricate, with many of the actions mimicking wild animals and traditional Apsara dance styles.

Martial artists in kun bokator are prohibited from jumping to enhance their speed, as is common in karate, taekwondo, and boxing.

Kun bokator is divided into two categories, performance and fighting, both of which will be contested at the Games.

At the Southeast Asian Kun Bokator Championship held in Phnom Penh in Cambodia in early April, the Vietnamese team, with the core of traditional martial arts athletes, won three gold medals thanks to Nguyen Thi Hoai Nhi in the women’s 45kg, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai in the women’s 55kg, and Ngo Duc Manh in the men’s 70kg category.

In addition, Vietnam also won three more silvers and three bronzes at this pre-SEA Games 32 tournament.

With the above-mentioned excellent achievement, Vietnam hopes to take gold medals in the kun bokator events at SEA Games 32.

Kun bokator will include 16 team and nine individual fighting events, and seven individual and team performance events. Athletes will compete in the men’s 50kg, 55kg, 60kg, 65kg and 70kg weight classes as well as 45kg, 50kg, 55kg and 60kg weight classes for women.

While kun khmer is Cambodia's traditional fighting martial art, the style is similar to Muay Thai. Kun khmer uses punches, kicks and elbows, generating power from hip rotation instead of leg snaps.

Seven teams will compete in kun khmer in Cambodia for 19 sets of medals.

As Vietnam is not well developed in this sport, at the Games, the Vietnamese khmer kun team will be made up of Muay Thai athletes such as Truong Cao Minh Phat, Bui Yen Ly and Huynh Ha Huu Hieu.

As Muay Thai is not held at SEA Games 32, the above athletes will hope for at least two golds medal in kun khmer.

In the SEA Games last year, Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat won a gold medal in muay in the men’s 60kg category. This year, he is part of the training board, not competing anymore.

"I have participated in many SEA Games, so this time I want to give opportunities to young athletes," said the five-time Muay Thai world champion Nhat. "I have experience and hope to help young athletes. The whole team and I are preparing the best for the upcoming Games."

According to Vath Chamroeun, Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, hosting the SEA Games is an opportunity for Cambodia to introduce sports with national cultural identity. It considers it an opportunity for conservation and development.

Cambodia also included ouk chaktrang in the competition. This Khmer type of chess is quite similar to the international chess version, with 64 squares and 16 pieces.

To compete in this sport, the Vietnamese ouk chaktrang team comprises players with high results at last year's national championship.

At the Southeast Asian Ouk Chaktrang Championship in January, Vietnam won two golds, three silvers and one bronze, ranking second in the medal tally, only after the host Cambodia. This will be the basis for Vietnam to aim to win two gold medals./.

Source: VNA

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