Sokha wary of Vietnamese threat

Apr 06, 2022

Cambodian vovinam world champion Pov Sokha is wary of the threat posed by hosts Vietnam at the Hanoi South East Asian Games next month.

“As you know, vovinam originated from Vietnam. They are the SEA Games host this year, so it would be to their advantage, but a pressure for us,” said Sokha. 

Vovinam will feature again at the 31st South East Asia Games in Vietnam after being dropped from the biggest multi-sports event in the region for three successive editions (2015, 2017, and 2019). 

Cambodia are banking on vovinam as a potential sport that would reap in several medals at the Games with Sokha, who has done the nation proud at the international stage, playing a big part in it.

She had won the world titles at the 2017 World Championships in India and again at the 2019 World Championships in Cambodia.

The Army officer has also been the undisputed vovinam star in Cambodia, winning the national championships a record four time since 2017.

The national side have been in closed-door training camp at the Morodok Techo National Stadium for the last six months prepare the Games.

“The condition in the training camp is getting better day by day, and now we are used to closed door training camp,” said Sokha.

Prior to their closed-door training, they trained virtually due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s best for the vovinam players to join the training camp during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this our training was conducted online, so it was very difficult for us as we needed to practice our performances together,” Sokha lamented.

She added that in terms of tactical training, training virtually was not the best and that the physical training camp has been helpful as they team could practice much more effectively.

With her wide range of experience at the international stage, Sokha is looking to looks to bag another SEA Games medal this year.

In her first appearance at the 2013 SEA Games, she bagged a bronze medal on 50-55kg vovinam combat.

In Vietnam, she will compete in three different vovinam classes, but none of them the same as the one she won at the World Championships in 2017 and 2019.

“I can’t tell you what will happen in the future, but the only thing I can assure is doing my best and giving my all,” Sokha committed. 

After switching from swimming, Sokha started to train in vovinam in 2011 and established herself as one of Cambodia’s greatest sport women.

She has also won the gold medal at the Asian Beach Games in Vietnam in 2016 as well as two gold medals at the Asian Championship in 2018.

by Sophak Huy