HA NOI — The Vietnamese wrestling team will compete at the Asian Wrestling Championships in South Korea from February 16-19 as part of their preparations for the 2012 London Olympic qualifying rounds.
|Pinned: Wrestler Luong Thi Quyen (top) is expected to achieve a strong result at the coming Asian Wrestling Championship, where she hopes to secure a berth at the London Olympic this summer. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Truong
The team includes freestyle female wrestlers Nguyen Thi Lua (in the 48kg category), Tran Thi Dieu Ninh (55kg), Duong Thi Lan (59kg), and Luong Thi Quyen (63kg). Freestyle male wrestlers are Nguyen Huy Ha (55kg) and Can Tat Du (74kg).
All team members will compete in the Olympic qualifying rounds except for Lan whose weight category will not be included in the Games.
Nguyen The Long, head of the Wrestling Department of the National Sports Administration, said the weakest point of the Vietnamese athletes was their lack of competition experience. Taking part in high-quality tournaments like the Asian Wrestling Championships would help them gain confidence and train their skills and spirits, he added.
According to the coaching staff, Quyen is the team's greatest hope for gold in the championships and a trip to London this summer. She has a lot of experience in international competitions and most of the strong rivals in her category have already secured Olympic berths.
In the 2011 Wrestling World Championships, four official qualifications were set for the Asian zone in Quyen's weight category, including China's Jing Ruixue, Mongolia's Ochirbatyn Nasanburmaa, Japan's Kaori Icho and North Korea's Kim Ran-mi.
In Lua's category, Kazakhstan's Zhuldyz Eshimova, China's Zhao Sasha and Japan's Hitomi Obara secured berths while Japan's Saori Yoshidia claimed her spot in Ninh's category. The Vietnamese wrestlers will not have to compete against these tough rivals in the Olympic qualifying rounds which boosts the opportunities for Viet Nam to earn their first wrestling tickets to London.
Long said that the athletes would participate in all rounds, including the Asian zone round from March 30 to April 1 in Kazakhstan, the first world round from April 27-29 in China and the second world round from May 4-6 in Finland. — VNS