|Muaythai fighter Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất of Việt Nam celebrates his world championship title last year. He advances to this year tournament’s semi-finals in Belarus. — File Photo|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Two Vietnamese athletes booked their berths in the May 11 semi-finals of the ongoing International Federation of Muaythai Amateur World Championships in Minsk, Belarus.
Six-time world champion Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất defeated Anass Hibaoui of Morocco in the round of last eight in the men’s U60kg category.
The defending champion will fight Artsem Vinnik of the host nation, who won against Yerkanat Ospan of Kazakhstan, in the next round.
Last year in Sweden, Nhất overcame Mirbek Sartkalmokov of Kygryzstan in the final to bag his sixth consecutive title.
His teammate Lê Đức Hoàng also found a place in the semi-finals, beating Anton Govorukha of Russia in the men’s U48kg pool.
His next rival will be Yiu Tat Fai of Hong Kong, who won against Saad Makouar of Morocco in the last-eight round match.
Việt Nam have sent seven representatives to Belarus, of whom three are women.
However after three days of competitions, only Nhất and Hoàng have advanced to the semi-final rounds.
Coach Giáp Trung Thang said the tournament was a key event that would help Vietnamese athletes warm up for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia in August.
Athletes also collect points from this competition, which could help them qualify for the World Games in Poland in July. The coach hoped his fighters would win at least one gold medal in Minsk.
The championships, which is in its 16th year, kicked off on May 5 and will end on May 12. — VNS