Cambodia's Sorn Seavmey has helped boost taekwondo in Cambodia, which will now host a major festival ©Getty Images

Cambodian capital Phnom Penh will host the annual Asia Kukkiwon Taekwondo Festival from December 1 to 3.

Permission for the city to hold the event has been given by world governing body World Taekwondo.

The festival will be open to competitors between the ages of 12 and 58, with the choice of Cambodia reflecting the sport's growth in the south-east Asian nation.

Sorn Seavmey's gold medals at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, and at this year's Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, have helped the sport grow while she also qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics. 

Seavmey was the flag-bearer for her country at the Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations in Rio.

Last year saw Nepal host the Kukkiwon Festival while next year it will take place in Thailand.

Cambodia's longest-serving coach, Choi Yong Sok, a South Korean who has been living in Phnom Penh for two decades, has coached Seavmey and her elder sister Davin.

He said it was a great honour for the country to host the event.

"The competition will be fierce and it would be a great opportunity for our young fighters to mix with and compete against some of the best from the Asian continent," he told The Phnom Penh Post.

Sorn Seavmey was the flag bearer for Cambodia at the Parade of Nations before Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
Sorn Seavmey was the flag bearer for Cambodia at the Parade of Nations before Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

Chrin Sothea, vice-president of the Cambodian Taekwondo Federation, said that 48 countries had been invited to take part, with about 5,000 fighters expected. 

Each athlete has been given the right to take part in two events.

Up to 1,000 Cambodian taekwondo practitioners are expected to take part.

There will be 66 categories - 45 individual and 21 team events - as well as several demonstrations.

The festival will be supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia and the embassy of the Republic of Korea.

Last year, South Korea pledged to offer further support to Cambodia as they seek to develop emerging taekwondo talent.

The country has previously benefited from South Korean support, with several of their athletes training in the nation prior to previous major events.