The karate team on their way to world champions


The Cambodian Karate Federation (CKF) sent a delegation of 17 coaches and athletes to Karate1 Series A in the Indonesian capital Jakarta from November 18-20. PHOTO PROVIDED

The Cambodian Karate Federation (CKF) has sent a delegation of 17 coaches and athletes to Karate1 Series A in the Indonesian capital Jakarta from November 18-20, while other Cambodian athletes already training there will also compete for medals at this major event.

Heng Pheng, head coach of the national karate team, sees the trip to the world champions as an important opportunity for the Kingdom’s athletes to hone their skills against the world’s best ahead of the South Asian Games -East (SEA) 2023, which will be hosted by Cambodia.

Pheng spoke to reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport on November 16, before departing for Indonesia.

“We expect to win between one and four gold medals at next year’s Games, and that’s why we’re working so hard. The three-month training camp in Japan that some of our team completed in September really gave them an edge,” he said.

At least 65 nations will face off in Karate1’s Series A, and he hopes his fighters – those who have just completed two weeks of training in Indonesia, as well as those who have made the trip to Japan – will gain experience they will need to triumph in Phnom Penh.

“This event will be one of the toughest our athletes have had to endure, with many wins needed to qualify for the final. Whether we win or lose, we will remain proud of our team members and hope that what they learn in this competition will double their chances of reaching the podium in the May games,” he added.

Theng Kimchhea, one of Karate1’s Series A champion competitors, already knows that this event will be tough. In this event, the individual kata competition, at least 90 athletes will compete.

“I see this event as a bridge to SEA Games 20323. The experience will be invaluable. If we can win medals that would be great, but even if we don’t we will know what we need to do to improve. and we will work harder when we come back. We haven’t slowed down because we want to give ourselves the best chance of winning medals at the Phnom Penh Games,” he said.

Content Image - Phnom Penh Post

The Cambodian Karate Federation (CKF) sent a delegation of 17 coaches and athletes to Karate1 Series A in the Indonesian capital Jakarta from November 18-20. PHOTO PROVIDED

Ho Heng, who will compete in both individual and team kata, said the Cambodian team is ready for Karate1’s Series A. He said he and his team have been training hard since returning from Japan, even training during vacations.

“Since so many countries are participating, we hope to learn enough to take our abilities to another level. We will use the experience to increase our chances of getting medals in our home matches,” he said.

The Jakarta event won’t be the last chance for the team to hone their sharp skills. Athletes still have a long way to go before they have a chance to impress on home soil.

The karate federation, chaired by the Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, will take advantage of the 3rd National Games at the end of November to develop its athletes.

Additionally, the federation will send the team to the Asian Karate Championships in Uzbekistan in mid-December – and then to the Southeast Asian Championships in March next year – to ensure they are ready to compete.

“We know there is no substitute for competition to build the capacity of our fighters. After competing in Karate1 Series A 2022, we will ensure that they are exposed to as many competitions as possible,” Pheng added.

The Jakarta competition is divided into two main categories: Kata and sparring.

Cambodia has listed four of the kata disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Individual and Team Performances.

The men will compete in five weight categories in the combat discipline: 60kg, -67kg, -75kg, -84kg and +84kg. The women will fight in three: 50kg, -55kg and -61kg.

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