Following her SEA Games silver-medal performance in Jakarta last week, taekwondo star Sorn Davin leaves for Bangkok today to take part in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers which may well see her becoming the first Cambodian to officially qualify for the Olympic Games.
The National Olympic Committee of Cambodia has always taken advantage of the Olympic So0lidarity's Universality Invitation which alloweds all NOCs who do not Qualify Officially to send a small delegation of wild-card entrants to each four-yearly edition, it is extremely rare for a Cambodian athlete to come even close to the qualification mark.
Secretary General of the Cambodia Taekwondo Federation (CTF) Hem Samnang told Expat Advisory that Sorn Davin and two of her team-mates, all aged 23, will participate in the 2012 London Games qualifier in Thailand, despite having returned from Indonesia just a few days ago.
“The qualifier in Bangkok will feature around 20 athletes in each weight class hailing from Asian nations,” he said "It was originally fixed for Nov 2-4 but due to the flooding in Thailand, was postponed". He explained
The postponement of the Qualifiers has now become a set back for the Cambodian Athelte Sorn Davin who sustained an injury to her wrist during the Semi finals of the SEA Games which was later aggravated in the finals where she finished with a Silver medal.
According National taekwondo coach Choi Young Sok, of South Korea, the towering Sorn Davin will compete in the over-67kg event, while Chhoeung Puthearim will fight in the women’s over-57kg and US-born Tubbs Daren in the men’s over-68kg.
Sorn Davin in an interview moments after training on Wednesday stated that it has been her dream to compete in the Olympics and would thus not allow the injury be a set back for her.
“If I can get through or not, doesn’t matter. I just want to try,” the Olympic Scholarship holder said."I have waited for this chance for so long and may have to quit if i don't go to the qualifiers" she added
She Lamented her failure to clinch Gold in the Finals of the SEA games “Actually, I could have won the gold. Unfortunately, I couldn’t because my left hand was injured. I had broken my little finger during the semifinal when fighting with the Indonesian athlete [Katur Yuni Riyanin]. Fortunately, I beat her to advance to the final.
“In the gold-medal match, I was ahead on points over the Vietnamese athlete [Ha Thi Nguyen], but she seemed to understand that I was injured and focused [her attacks] on it. Eventually, the doctor decided to stop the match.”
The team doctor Hout Chantheavy despite being worried about Sorn Darvin's condition and coach have given Sorn Davin the all-clear to compete in this weekend’s qualifiers, as the martial art form involves use of the feet only.
"It is OK for her if she can avoid further injury to the hand" says Dr. Chantheavy who flew in from Jakarta yesterday following the end of the SEA Games. "We have examined her and put her under treatment since she sustained the injury and we hope she will be able to go through the qualifiers safely" she stated.
Cambodia has three other Olympic Solidarity Scholarship holders, Phat Sophal in Boxing, Sar Chupveasna in Atheltics and Sothera in Wrestling but they will be taking part in their respective Asian Olympic Qualifiers early 2012.