Cambodian swimmer Kaing Muoy Nin earned the Kingdom’s first historic gold medal in the pool on May 12, with a record-setting performance in the women’s 400m bi-fin finswimming event.
Though Cambodia’s conventional swimmers and divers completed their 43 events without claiming any medals, the finswimmers restored pride to the nation with several impressive performances.
Muoy Nin led the field home in a time of 3:59.01, more than five seconds ahead of Indonesia’s Az Zahra Raqiel. Her Cambodian teammate Khoeun Bun Pich Morakot claimed the bronze, ahead of Singapore's Dawn Tong Eh Koh, the Philippines' Cabayaran Alexi Kouzenye and De La Paz Jannie, as well as Singapore's Ong R'yen Jing Qi and Malaysia’s Guan Jun Jamie Tan.
In addition, Lim Sokwat Non, Toun Tith Satya, Lim Korm Udom and Chhom Chanthorn were able to secure bronze in the men’s 4x200m surface relay, behind Vietnam and Indonesia.
Muoy Nin’s gold medal winning performance was the first in 50 years for the Khmer Swimming Federation, led by Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol. At the 1973 SEA Games, held in Singapore, Cambodian athletes brought home two gold, seven silver and four bronze medals.