Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Volleyball mania

The Cambodian team prepare for the game to begin
Despite shouting myself hoarse, I couldn’t change the outcome of the WOVD Standing Volleyball World Cup tie as the world’s 2nd ranked team Germany defeated the gallant and plucky underdogs, the Cambodian national team at the Olympic Stadium last night. Though the Germans won three sets to nil, the Cambodians never gave in and took their opponents to a third set 25-23 score before finally succumbing. The last set told the story of the whole match in that the Cambodians built a lead in each of the sets only for the Germans to rally and overtake their diminutive opponents to close out the sets, 25-21, 25-17 and 25-23. The sizeable crowd warmed to the task of cheering on the home side, waving small flags and increasing the vocal support as it looked as though the Cambodians would win the third set, but two crucial fouls called by the referees turned the set in Germany’s favour and they closed out the match.
Of the six teams taking part in the finals Cambodia have beaten India and lost to Slovakia and Germany. They face Poland today and world champions Canada tomorrow. The standard of volleyball on display was very high with most of the athletes overcoming severe disability to reach this level of competition, though the Cambodian audience needs to be even more vocal if they want to carry their team through to the final stages of the world cup on a tidal wave of enthusiasm. I’m sure it was a case of mixed emotions last night for the Cambodian national team coach Christian Zepp, who is German.
The two teams are presented to the German Ambassador after the match
Earlier in the day I paid a brief visit to the National Library (Bibliotheque) and the National Archives, but both were closed, the library for lunch even though it was just past 11am, and the other for a stock audit til 1 December. I've yet to step foot in either, so this was the purpose of my visit as well as an archaeological exhibition by EFEO at the library, which I'll have to visit another day.

The National Library (Bibliotheque)

The National Archives

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