|Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất of Việt Nam (left) is announced winner of the semi-final match of the men's Muay Thai 57kg category at the 11th World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, the USA on July 17. Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Trần Ngọc Diễm|
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất of Việt Nam is through to the final of the men's 57kg Muay Thai at the 11th World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, the USA.
The eight-time world champion Nhất defeated Vladyslav Mykytas of Ukraine, with the judges scoring the contest 29-28 in favour of Nhất at Boutwell Auditorium.
The 33-year-old used all his experience to dominate the first two rounds 10-9. Mykytas came back strongly in the third, taking the round 10-9, but it was not enough for him to beat the Vietnamese fighter who moved from his usual 61kg category down to 57kg for the tournament.
"I am lucky to win again. I will try hard in the final," said Nhất.
Nhất will have to beat Almaz Sarsembekov of Kazakhstan to leave with gold. The 26-year-old beat Saif Adden Zakzook of Jordan 29-28 in the other semi-final.
In the quarter-finals, Sarsembekov beat defending champion Phillips Delarmino of the Philippines 30-28, while Nhất overcame three-time world title winner Rui Botelho of Portugal 30-27.
Sarsembekov won a bronze medal at the previous World Games in 2017 in Poland. He is No 1 in this category in the world Muay Thai ranking.
Nhất is the last Vietnamese representative in the ring after his country-fellow Dương Thúy Vi won a wushu gold last week and the others were ousted from billiards, wushu and beach handball. VNS