Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — As judoka Nguyễn Thị Như Ý heads to this year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, she’s feeling more than a little pressure. Not only is the 36 year-old athlete a defending champion, she also knows that this will be her very last trip to the event.
“This will be my last Games,” Ý said. “I will make every effort to gain the best result to bring glory for the country.”
Việt Nam will send six martial artists to compete in judo, which will take place today in Kuala Lumpur. Ý is Việt Nam judo team’s golden hope in this event, having previously bagged four SEA Games gold medals. At the 2015 games, she trounced all rivals in the women’s 78kg category.
“Ý is a veteran of judo team. I highly appreciate Ý because of her will and skills despite her advanced age. I and the training board have developed the most favourable regimen for Ý to train so she can bring home a gold medal,” said coach Lê Duy Hải.
Ý was born in the southern province of Đồng Tháp and trained in judo for nearly 20 years.
Ý’s teammates include Huỳnh Nhất Thống, Nguyễn Tấn Công, Nguyễn Hữu Hùng, Nguyễn Thị Hường, and Nguyễn Thị Diệu Tiên.
Thống is also expected to bring home a medal in the men’s 66kg division. He triumphed in the Games in 2013.
At the Games held in Singapore two years ago, Việt Nam won two golds and six bronzes.
To prepare for the largest regional sports event, the team has been training intensively in South Korea with their coach, South Korean Kang Dong Woo. They also took part in the international tournaments to hone their skills and gain experience ahead of the major competition.
In the Hong Kong International Judo Open in March, Việt Nam won three gold, two silver and three bronze medals.— VNS