Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất has made history by becoming the first Vietnamese fighter to win the world championship title seven times.
Nhất, on May 11 night, Hà Nội time, defeated rival Murat Arslam of Turkey to win the men’s 60kg category at the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur World Championships in Minsk, Belarus.
The 29-year-old faced no difficulty in dominating the game, beating Arslam 3-0 with his rapid and powerful bouts and kicks.
"I am happy, really happy. Thank you all, my coaches and my teammates who have been with me all along and encouraged me a lot," Nhất said after accepting his medal.
"Nhất was very calm and confident in the ring, with the attitude of an experienced athlete who has fought for many years, although his rival is bigger and taller, with long arm span. But Nhất did not worry at all. He attacked immediately and scored points with his kicks on Arslam’s legs. Early points lifted his spirit, while it made Arslam confused and he soon lost his concentration. Nhất then easily mastered all three rounds and won," coach Giáp Trung Thang said.
Earlier, his teammate Lê Hoàng Đức beat Arifkhanov Bakytzhan of Kazkhastan to pocket his first-ever world title in the men’s 48kg class.
"It was a good match for both sides, but Đức was a little bit better. He threw accurate punches at crucial moments and overcame this huge rival," Thang said.
Thang was even more excited than his athletes.
"It is great. We won gold medals, two golds. It is the first time in many years of participation that Việt Nam have triumphed twice in a championship," Thang said.
"Previously, we had to strive hard but only won one gold. But this year, we made it, and we are worthy to be at the top. It has come as a surprise for me and for the whole team. Nhất and Đức were both outstanding today," he said laughing.
Việt Nam set a target of only one gold from the Belarus event.
Later this month, Nhất and Đức will participate in the national championship. They then leave for Thailand for a short-term training course as preparation for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia in August.
The SEA Games gold medal is the only significant medal that Nhất has not won in his career. — VNS