Petanque duo Sin Vong and Vong Chantha set a new record for themselves after the two teamed up to win gold in the mixed doubles at the ongoing SEA Games in Vietnam on May 17.
The gold – their first at the SEA Games – came after Vong and Chantha defeated hosts Vietnam 13-4 in the final. Earlier in the afternoon, they had defeated Malaysia 13-8 in the semi-finals to secure their shot at gold.
Although the two Vietnamese players easily thrashed hot favourites Thailand in the semi-finals, Vong and Chantha announced their intention to return to Cambodia with gold ahead of the final, noting that they had been concerned about facing the Thais – who they lost to 13-9 in the qualifying round – but felt confident about facing the Vietnamese pair.
Chantha, speaking after her gold-medal winning performance, said: “I am so very happy to win a medal for my country! We trained very very hard with our coach in Cambodia and played to each other’s strengths. My partner Sin Vong is very good at hitting the boules during the crucial moments and I focus on throwing and rolling my boules slowly closer to the jack.”
“When we saw that Vietnam had beaten Thailand in their semi, we knew we were in a position to secure gold for Cambodia. We already beat them once [in the qualifying round], so we knew we had the measure of them,” Chantha added.
“I am very pleased and excited to have been able to win gold for the nation. I was happy when we found out we would meet Vietnam in the final. I said to my partner before the match that as long as we play as well as we did in our last game, we will take the win,” added Vong.
The new petanque gold took the Cambodian team’s medal tally to 15. The first gold was won by kickboxer Touch Rachhan, better known as Beut Sangkheum, and as of the evening of May 17, the Kingdom’s athletes have also collected four silver and nine bronze medals.