|Lifting legends: Thach Kim Tuan (left) and his teammate Tran Le Quoc Toan will be Viet Nam's hopes at this weekend World Weightlifting Championships in Wroclaw, Poland. — File Photos
HA NOI (VNS) — The rising Vietnamese stars Thach Kim Tuan and Tran Le Quoc Toan are expected to perform strongly at Poland's forthcoming World Weighlifting Championships, despite facing some ominous opposition.
Tuan and Toan will both participate in the men's 56kg category along with 21 rivals, including Olympic defending champion Om Yun Chol of North Korea and Beijing Olympics winner Long Qingquan from China.
Tuan pocketed a silver medal at the Asian championships in June with a lift of 281kg while Toan earned his bronze after lifting 275kg.
Two years ago both took part in the world tournament in France. While Tuan was not successful and finished seventh, Toan took a bronze medal.
Toan has recently said he was not at his best at the Asian tournament because of injury. Now, following an intensive training course in Bulgaria he is eager to test his skill again on the world stage.
The Vietnamese have registered a result of 280kg which is among the heaviest among athletes. Long leads the list with 285kg while Korean Om whose personal best is 293kg, has set a target of 275kg.
Calling home from Bulgaria, head of the country's weightlifting body Do Dinh Khang said Toan had totally recovered from injury and was in good condition ahead of the championships.
He admitted he was more worried about Tuan, who has been training at home and may not be ready for the cold Polish weather.
Coach Huynh Huu Chi, who trains Tuan in Da Nang, said he had plans to help his athlete overcome this.
"We have prepared well for that situation. Tuan has made remarkable improvements recently. If he performs as well as what he did at the national championships, he can take a medal in the snatch event."
At the national tournament in Hai Phong last month, Tuan won the gold medal with a lift of 281kg.
Toan and Tuan will also participate in an internal competition in which the winner will be Viet Nam's representative at the 27th SEA Games in Myanmar this December.
Two other Vietnamese flying to Poland are Do Thi Thu Hoai (women's 48kg) and Hoang Tan Tai (men's 85kg).
Hoai and Toan yesterday flew from Bulgaria to Poland. They will later be joined with Tuan and Tai who departed from HCM City.
The world championships have lured athletes from 62 federations and will kick off on Sunday. — VNS