FOX Sports Asia hunts down the five most well-known Cambodian sports stars and examines their life outside their chosen sport.
1. Sorn Seavmey – Taekwondo
Age: 22 years old
Social Media ID: @sornseavmeytkd (FB)
Easily the most decorated Cambodian taekwondo practitioner, Sorn Seavmey made history by winning her country’s first Asian Games gold medal since 1954.
The Phnom Penh native took home the gold at the 2014 Asian Games for the women’s under-73kg event.
Seavmey was Cambodia’s flag bearer for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Her brother Sorn Elit and sister Sorn Davin are also taekwondo practitioners.
2. Hem Bunting – Track & Field
Age: 32 years old
Social Media ID: @hembunting (FB)
Despite having little funding or facilities for training, Hem Bunting still managed to represent his country in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The marathoner, who at one stage could not afford to buy his own running shoes, is also a silver and bronze SEA Games medallist!
Born into a family of farmers, Bunting is the current national marathon record holder with a personal best of 2:23:29 – recorded at the 2012 Paris Marathon.
3. Samorn Kieng – Track & Field
Age: 34 years old
Social Media ID: @samornkieng (FB)
A middle-distance runner, Samorn Kieng current holds the national record for the men’s 800m with a timing of 1:59.14 – recorded at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships.
He recorded a personal best of 1:55.26 at the 2012 Summer Olympics despite being eliminated in the first round.
4. Hem Thon Vitiny – Swimming
Age: 25 years old
Social Media ID: @VitinyHemthon (FB)
A four-time Olympian, Hem Thon Vitiny is one of the most established Cambodian swimmers in the country.
The freestyle swimmer was one of four women Cambodian athletes at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Thon Vitiny is also the niece of fellow national swimmer Hem Thon Ponleu.
5. Oum Sam Tharoth – MMA
Age: 27 years old
Social Media ID: @littlefrogbokator (FB)
Affectionately known as “Little Frog”, Oum Sam Tharoth is a flyweight MMA fighter who has fought in the ONE Championship and Full Metal Dojo (FMD) promotion.
The submission and bokator specialist won her last match against Thailand’s Kaewjai Prachumwong at FMD 15.
Aside from MMA, Oum Sam is also an established actor and singer in her homeland. She made an appearance in Angelina Jolie’s Netflix movie, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.