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En garde: Dates set for National Fencing Champs with ambitions raised

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Fencing competitions at the 2023 SEA Games took place at Chroy Changvar Convention Centre in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

En garde: Dates set for National Fencing Champs with ambitions raised

The Fencing Federation of Cambodia (FFC) has set the dates for the 2023 National Fencing Championships, which will take place at the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) from September 1- 3.

The competition aims to spot talented athletes who can be trained to join the national team in the future.

Sok Ang, secretary-general of the FFC, on July 19 said the successful hosting of the 32nd SEA Games in May has provided the body’s officials with greater confidence and knowledge for organising the 2023 national competition.

“This year’s national fencing competition – after the achievements of the 2023 SEA Games – will be bigger in scope than previous years.

“The federation’s ambition is to increase the number of competitions and enhance the sport’s popularity, with a particular focus on organising international competitions within the country,” he said.

The 2023 Western Fencing Championships, held at the end of June, were open to participants of all nationalities and marked the first time international-standard equipment was used.

And Ang said he saw the event as a providing invaluable experience for the federation’s technical officials in gaining greater understanding of organising national competitions.

To modernise the 2023 national competition, he said the federation plans to introduce the full Khmer language in the Fencing Time competition programme, which is recognised by the International Fencing Federation.

Fencing Time provides participants with easy access to match information, formulas and match results through fencingtimelive.com. The programme also enables the live scoring of matches.

“Previously, Fencing Time only supported foreign languages such as English, French, Chinese and Japanese, for example.

“However, after purchasing a licence from the company, the federation requested the inclusion of the Khmer language.

“This will showcase to the world that fencing is a thriving sport in Cambodia, he said.

The federation will also use a match result display device that connects with the scoring machine, allowing the results of matches to be displayed on a TV screen and making it easier for spectators to follow the competition.

Ang said such developments were significant in the growth of the sport in the Kingdom.

“During the 32nd SEA Games, we had foreign experts who helped us with the preparations, particularly with the display of match results.

“But after the thorough research conducted by our team, we can – by connecting with the Fencing Time management system – now do it ourselves.

“This marks an important new experience for the federation team, and lives up to the slogan ‘Khmer can do’,” he said.

With the introduction of this modern programme and technical equipment, Ang said, the federation has been able increase the number of team events for this year’s national competition.

In the past, the number of athletes was limited, which restricted the federation to only organising competitions for individual events.

However, based on data from the 2022 national sports event and the 3rd Western Fencing Championship 2023, Ang said that there will be enough athletes to participate in team events.

Each team requires three to four players, and he expects there to be approximately eight men’s teams and six women’s teams participating in this year’s national competition.

Ang hailed support from the sport’s global body for helping further boost its ambitions.

The FFC has just received seven additional sets of scoreboards from the International Fencing Federation for approximately €6,000 (around $6,700).

“This support has made our team even more ambitious, and we are now studying how we can organise international competitions following this national event,” he said.


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