Cambodia will host competitions for 37 sports in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA) in May including three traditional games of Ouk Chaktrang (chess), Bokator, and Kun Khmer, the Cambodian martial arts.
Vath Chamroeun, Secretary-General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, stated that the SEA games will give the country an opportunity to showcase its traditional sports to foreign audiences and win more medals in those games.
Six countries have confirmed their participation in Bokator and Kun Khmer, including Cambodia (host), Laos, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam while Thailand has canceled its participation.
Following the decision to rename the kickboxing sport from Muay to Kun Khmer, Thailand decided to boycott its candidature in the competition.
Despite the ban from Thailand, six kickboxing athletes from Laos, including four male and two female athletes, will represent Laos in SEA Games 2023 in Cambodia which will be held from 5 May-17 May.
Muay Lao professional athletes at the Lane Xang Martial Arts Academy in Vientiane Capital have also expressed their opinions on this issue in a recent interview with the Laotian Times and said that changing names won’t affect the nature of the sport itself.