|Vietnamese fencers pose with the medals won at the Southeast Asian Fencing Championship which is ongoing in Malaysia. Photo Fencing Việt Nam|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam won their first medals of the 2023 at the Southeast Asian Fencing Championship organised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Phùng Khánh Linh overcame her teammate Lê Minh Hằng in the women's sabre final on January 5 to take the first gold for Việt Nam.
Earlier, Nguyễn Thị Thu Phương earned a silver in the women's foil final after losing to Lozada Wilhelmina of the Philippines. Nguyễn Phước Đến also took a silver as he was defeated by Filipino Jose Noelito Jr. in the men's epee final.
Three bronzes were won by Phạm Thị Huyền in the women's sabre, and Phạm Đức Trọng and Đặng Tuấn Anh in the men's epee.
"All the best fencers are sent to Kuala Lumpur for the championship, which is also considered as a pre-32nd SEA Games event," said coach Phạm Anh Tuấn.
Việt Nam used to be the best fencing team in the region before they lost their No. 1 place to Singapore in the 31st Games in Hà Nội last May.
In the coming days, other athletes will take part in the tournament, among them, multi-time SEA Games champions Vũ Thành An and Nguyễn Tiến Nhật.
"I have trained hard and focused totally on this tournament, leaving all personal problems behind. It is a big lesson to me and I will never let it happen again. I will put the national duty first and try harder to improve my level," said An, who was dismissed from the national team after fighting with a teammate in October.
An, who won a gold medal from the National Sports Games in December, was called back to the team for this event.
The regional championship is held from January 5 to 14. Việt Nam has sent 47 athletes competing in all categories for individuals and teams. VNS