Top fencer to take stab at SEA Games
En garde: Top Vietnamese fencer Nguyen Thi Le Dung is set to compete in the women's sabre event during the Southeast Asian Games. — VNA/VNS Photo Quoc Khanh
HA NOI — Viet Nam's top fencer Nguyen Thi Le Dung will face rivals from Indonesia and Thailand at the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia this week.
Dung, 26, who took up the Olympic sport at the age of 16, is the most experienced and skilful of the Vietnamese fencers who will be taking part at the Games.
She is eager to seize her opportunity in a discipline that was not included at the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.
The Hanoian took a six-month break for a course at the Foreign Trade College last year, but she showed top form at the World Fencing Championships in Catania, Italy, last month.
She ranked 16th among 122 competitors in the women's singles sabre event after a 3-15 loss in the fourth round to Vecci Irene of Italy.
"I expect more success at this year's SEA Games following strong performances at the Games from 2003-07. However, I'm ready for tough tests against rivals from the host country and Thailand," said Dung.
"I've had a long career in fencing so I'll do my best this year because it could be my last chance," she said.
Vietnamese fencers have had 10 months to prepare to cross swords at the region's biggest sporting event at the Ha Noi-based elite athletes sports training centre and on two training trips to China.
Dung will be joined in the fencing squad by Nguyen Thi Thanh Loan, Nguyen Thi Nhu Hoa, Tran Thi Len, Nguyen Thi Tuoi, Le Thi Bich, Truong Nguyen Nhat Minh, Nguyen Tien Nhat, and Nguyen Phuoc Den, who will be competing for 12 medal sets in the men's and women's individual and team sabre, foil and epee events from Sunday until Wednesday. — VNS