Young petanque player takes aim at SEA Games

Posted by samakomlao Monday, August 3, 2009

Young Lao female petanque players from many provinces are currently training hard in Vientiane in the hope of catching the eye of national selectors in the lead-up to the 25th SEA Games in December.

While fourteen female players are currently training at the University National of Laos, only 10 players will be selected to represent Laos at the games.

At the tender age of 15, Ms Manyvanh Souriya is the second ranked female petanque player in Laos .

Ms Manyvanh competed in the women's team (four players) event at the last SEA Games in Thailand in 2007.

She said although she did not win a medal at the games she gained valuable experience.

She said she will be very proud if she is selected to represent Laos again when the nation hosts the event.

Ms Manyvanh's favourite event is the mixed doubles; however she is no certainty to be selected for the event because Lao selectors will choose the players best suited to each event.

She said the Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian teams are amongst the best in the petanque event.

Ms Manyvanh is in fourth class at secondary school in Saphanxay village, Pakxe district, Champassak province.

She won a bronze medal in the women's doubles at the eighth National Games in Champassak province last December, where she represented Champassak.

Next month, she will join other national players to compete in a friendly petanque competition in Vietnam .

Ms Manyvanh has two older sisters, two older brothers and a younger sister, all of whom live in Saphanxay village in Pakxe district. Her father, Mr Dangvansoy, works at a sawmill and her mother, Mrs Lethiheuang, is a merchant.

She began playing petanque when she was 11 year old at a field next to her house. She played with her friends everyday after school.

Ms Manyvanh said her family supports her sporting endeavours, especially as petanque is not dangerous or physically taxing.

She and her fellow team-mates train from 8am to 11am and from 3pm to 6pm every day. The squad stays at accommodation at the university.

Ms Manyvanh said she is hopeful of representing Laos at international level tournaments into the future.

At the last SEA Games, Laos won gold medals in the men's and women's shooting events and bronze medals in the men's and women's singles, men's doubles and team, and mixed doubles categories.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong

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