|Asian champion Nguyễn Thị Tâm (right) is Việt Nam's best hope at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, India on March 15-26. VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — A nine-strong contingent from Việt Nam is expected to have a strong showing at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, India on March 15-26.
They will be against more than 350 rivals, a record number, from more than 70 countries at this biennial event which offers participants a lucrative prize fund of US$2.4 million. The winning boxers will walk away with $100,000.
Among the Vietnamese athletes, Nguyễn Thị Tâm (50kg), Võ Thị Kim Ánh (54kg) and Nguyễn Thị Hương (81kg) have the most potential.
Young athlete Ánh was considered a secret weapon after she secured a gold at the 2022 Thailand Open in the flyweight category.
Tâm was denied a bronze medal at the 2019 edition after losing by a decision in the quarter-final match. Tâm was previously announced the winner in a match against Liliya Aetbaeva of the host Russia and would have advanced to the semi-final and be assured third place. But after a complaint by the Russian team, she became the loser and disqualified, losing her historical medal for Việt Nam boxing at the world event.
In the last four years since her 'accident', Tâm has had outstanding performances to earn her a berth at the Tokyo Olympics. At international competitions, she snatched two golds in the 30th and 31st SEA Games, a title in the Asian championship and a gold at the Thailand Open in 2022.
Tâm, 28, is currently No 1 among 178 athletes in her flyweight division by BoxRec with a 5-star rating.
When Tâm failed to make history in 2019, Hương did. She beat American Graham Dixon Krystal in the last round and qualified for the semi-finals to bag her a heavyweight bronze.
|Nguyễn Thị Hương is expected to do better than a bronze at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships
Last year, Hương took a gold at the National Sports Games and a bronze at the Asian championship.
Hương's world bronze is the highest score of Việt Nam to date but at the Indian event, the Vietnamese athletes are expected to achieve higher results.
The Việt Nam team arrived in India on March 13 and had two days preparing for matches, which will begin on March 16.
The competitions will be held in 12 weight categories ranging from 48kg to over-81kg at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex.
Several countries have decided to boycott the upcoming world event after the IBA allowed Russian and Belarusian boxers to compete under their national flags. The countries boycotting the New Delhi event are Ukraine, the US, the UK, Canada, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Norway.
The world championship is not a qualification event for the Paris Olympics 2024 as declared by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IBA, however, has declared it as a main qualification event. VNS