The European Vovinam Championships will kick off today in Italy with the participation of 258 athletes from 11 countries, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany and France.
Martial artists from France and hosts Italy are favourites to take the medals in the performance event, while participants from Russia, Belarus and France are tipped to do well in the combat category.
World Vovinam Federation Deputy Chairman Nguyen Van Chieu and General Secretary Vo Danh Hai are supervisors of the tournament.
They will meet permanent staff of the European Vovinam Federation to discuss the direction of development and preparations for the third world championships in France in 2013. Master Chieu will also address a two-day seminar on March 10-11.
The finals are scheduled on Sunday.
Vovinam, a traditional Vietnamese martial art, was founded by late grandmaster Nguyen Loc in 1938 in Ha Noi. It has been popular around the world with more than 100,000 practitioners in 40 countries. — VNS