The six-day Women’s and Junior Petanque World Championships opened at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.
Play will continue until Sunday, when teams will finish with the triple finals for both women and juniors, followed by a gala and the closing ceremony.
After some 49 countries were introduced in a glittering opening ceremony, the tournaments began with precision shooting, featuring one player from each team throwing four boules in five rounds.
With 100 points the maximum, the record score of 67 was set by France’s Christophe Sevilla in 2011, and then matched in 2017 by Italian Diego Rizzi.
The juniors of Morocco, Madagascar, France, Italy, Cambodia and Belgium had the honour of shooting first.
After all 30 juniors had shot for their countries, the top scores in the precision shooting event were Vietnam with 45, Madagascar on 44 and Singapore and Monaco tied on 43.
It was now time for the women to take to the court, and the first six to shoot were Italy, Cambodia, Madagascar, Switzerland, Malaysia and France.
Cambodia’s Ke Leng led the women’s division with 38 points, followed by Myanmar, 34, New Caledonia, 31, and Malaysia and Spain, both scoring 29.
As competitors from around the globe continue to battle it out over the coming days, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron emphasised the importance of the off-court interactions between the competitors.
“I strongly believe that the World Petanque Championships this year will not only be about the petanque contests themselves, but will also see the building of life-long friendships and respect among the athletes and delegates,” he said.
The championships continue every day until Sunday, with play starting at 8am.