Cambodia’s mountain bikers shake up Thai competition
Wining seven cycling trophies at the first round of the King’s Cup in Thailand on January 28-29 has given the three Cambodian mountain bikers confidence that they are well placed to claim medals on home soil this May, when the Kingdom hosts the 32nd SEA Games.
Across the two days of competition, Khim Meng Long claimed three trophies, while Chan Chai Fong and Ken Malay won two each.
Nou Chamroeun, secretary-general of the Cambodian Cycling Federation, said it was an excellent result for the athletes.
“Based on their performances, we can tell that their training regimes are on track to get them to where they need to be. All three of these outstanding athletes showed heart, and this was a great opportunity for them to accrue more international experience. I believe the results have strengthened their spirits,” he added.
In the XCO Men’s Elite and XCO Women’s Elite competitions, the three Cambodian national team members demonstrated their prodigious talents. Khim Meng Long came third, Chan Chai Fong placed fourth and Ken Malay found fifth place, enough for each of to secure a trophy.
In the U23 races, the three matched their earlier performances. In the eliminator event, Meng Long claimed another trophy with a fine performance to place third, while Malay and Chai Fong were unable to replicate their earlier showings, finishing just outside the trophies with sixth and seventh placings respectively.
“Based on our results, we will be challenging for medals at the SEA Games. Thailand is ranked No. 1 in the ASEAN region, but our athletes managed to take 3rd and 4th places from Thai national team members. This was even more impressive when you consider that they were racing in their own country. When we have home advantage, I expect our cyclists to do even better,” added Chamroeun.
The first round of the King’s Cup was held in Thong Pha Phum district of Kanchanaburi province, Thailand. The federation sent the three athletes – along with team manager Pheng Polin and coach Ouch Sokvibol – to the event, thanks to sponsorship from Minister of Commerce pan Sorasak.