Minister of Interior Sar Kheng congratulated the Kingdom’s athletes and sportsmen and women for their record setting medal performances at the just-concluded 32nd SEA Games, noting that Cambodia had claimed a total of 282 medals.

In a May 22 congratulatory letter, he noted that athletes from the Ministry of Interior had earned a total 132 medals, 35 of them gold, 34 silver and 63 bronze, helping Cambodia rocket to fourth on the overall medal table, a huge jump over its previous best placing of eighth.

“On behalf of the entire ministry, I was thrilled with the result. I congratulate the leadership, the delegates and deputy delegates, the coaches and assistant instructors, the technical officials and every single one of the athletes of the ministry’s Sports Council for their many victories,” said the letter.

The 35 gold medalists competed in vovinam, sepaktakraw, Kun Lbokator, Kun Khmer, kickboxing, wrestling, ju-jitsu, boat racing, soft tennis, arnis, karate, jet-ski racing and badminton.

“These achievements are a great source of pride for the ministry, with all athletes playing their part to maintain public safety and social order, in addition to their sporting duties. They did their best and were totally committed to their extremely testing training regimes, as can be seen by their success and the glory they won for the Kingdom, as well as the ministry,” the letter concluded.

Sar Sith, ministry undersecretary of state and chairman of the Sports Council, said that of all of the members of Team Cambodia, the three who earned the most gold medals were from the interior ministry: Vovinam star Pal Chhor Raksmey won four gold medals, one silver and one bronze, with her vovinam teammate Ly Boramy claiming three golds. Jiu-jitsu star Kong Mona claimed two golds and a bronze.

“Under the leadership of Sar Kheng, who also heads the ministry’s Sports Council, our athletes were focused on training as hard as they could in order to win sporting recognition for the nation,” added ministry sporting council secretary-general Yit Phirak.