The chefs de missions (head of delegation) of the 11 countries taking part in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games gathered in Phnom Penh to discuss various issues related to the event, which will be held in Cambodia less than 100 days from now.
The 1st Chefs De Mission (CDM) Meeting was held at the Garden City Hotel in Phnom Penh from January 25 to 27.
The attendees to the three-day gathering include Philippines chef de mission Joaquin Loyzaga and Malaysia chef de mission Datuk Mohd Nasir Ali, per local media reports. They were accompanied by other high-ranking sports officials from Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun presided over the meeting. Chamroeun is also the Chief Executive of Cambodian SEA Games Organizing Committee (CAMSOC), the agency in-charge of all SEA Games-related events and activities.
The meeting centred on matters related to food, healthcare, transportation, anti-doping and protocol.
Representatives of other countries queried Cambodia whether it is well-prepared with respect to the aforementioned issues.
“We assured them of our readiness to host the big events. We were also able to satisfy their concerns with respect to food, accommodation and other issues,” Chamroeun told the local press after the event ended.
With respect to anti-doping, Cambodia has indicated that it will not tolerate such transgressions. Last week, CAMSOC dropped bodybuilding from the 2023 SEA Games list, after a couple of Cambodian athletes tested positive for steroids, a banned substance under the guidelines of World Anti-Doping Agency and other anti-doping bodies in Asia and Southeast Asia.
“Some of them asked us about healthcare facilities that their athletes can use or avail of,” he added.
Chamroeun said the other delegations also made their own suggestions on how Cambodia can improve on its preparations with respect to food, accommodation and related matters.
“We listened to them. We are planning to incorporate their suggestions into our plans and preparations,” he said. “This is the first time for us. We want to host a very successful Games.”
Cambodia was supposed to host the __SEA Games (then known as Southeast Asian Peninsular Games), but was unable to do so due to internal political turmoil.
Tour of Cambodia’s sports facilities, Sihanoukville
After attending the 100-day countdown ceremony to the 2023 SEA games at the Morodok Techo Stadium evening of January 25, the participants then toured the new stadium, Olympic Stadium and other sports facilities in Sihanoukville.
Sihanoukville, the location of Cambodia’s biggest and most important seaport, will be the host of sailing and several other events during the next SEA Games, per local media reports. Phnom Penh, Kampot, Kep and Siem Reap are the other host cities/provinces.
“We are more than ready to host the SEA Games. We want to show them the facilities we have here,” Chamroeun said, just before they departed for the tour.
The delegations departed Cambodia and returned to their respective countries earlier today.