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Cambodia sends largest-ever team of athletes to train in China

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia sets to dispatch its largest-ever team of 160 athletes to train in China in the preparation for the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Cambodia next year, officials said.

Speaking at a farewell ceremony held at the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) in Phnom Penh, NOCC's secretary general Vath Chamroeun said the athletes will leave Cambodia for China on Thursday for intensive training sessions.

"This is another fruit of the ironclad friendship and close cooperation between Cambodia and China," he said. "This intensive training is crucial to help develop Cambodia's sports sector."

Chamroeun said the athletes will train in 12 sports, including swimming, basketball, wushu, weightlifting, volleyball, female football, badminton, wrestling, judo, table tennis, athletics and gymnastics.

"I'd like to encourage all athletes to train hard in order to achieve better results in the 2023 SEA Games," he said. "This training will also provide a good opportunity for Cambodian athletes and coaches to deepen friendship and solidarity with their Chinese counterparts."

Wu Guoquan, the economic and commercial counselor of the Chinese Embassy to Cambodia, said China was pleased to assist Cambodian athletes in their journey towards the 32nd SEA Games.

"This is the largest bilateral sports and cultural exchange activity between China and Cambodia since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is made possible under the Chinese government's sports technical assistance project," he said.

"We hope this project will help increase the capacity and technical levels for Cambodian athletes as well as further promote the fraternal friendship between China and Cambodia," he added.

Table tennis player Kang You Kheang, 19, said he joined Cambodia's national table tennis team in 2020 and was excited to get long-term intensive training in China.

"This training is essential to help improve my technical skills and expertise," he told Xinhua. "I will try to train hard in order to achieve a good result in the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia."

Cambodia will host the 32nd SEA Games for the first-ever time in May 2023, and the Morodok Techo National Stadium in the northern suburb of capital Phnom Penh will be the centerpiece venue for the games.