Taekwondo fighters aim for humble two golds in 32nd SEA Games

March 30, 2023 - 06:40
The team's target of two gold medals is a significant reduction from the nine they won at the previous Games in Hà Nội.


Trương Thị Kim Tuyền (left) is one of Việt Nam Taekwondo's best hopes of gold at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Led by head coach Vũ Anh Tuấn and South Korean expert Kim Kil-tae, Việt Nam's Taekwondo team is aiming to secure two gold medals at May's 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia. 

A formidable squad of 16 athletes is training in Hà Nội, including Trương Thị Kim Tuyền, Trần Thị Ánh Tuyết, Nguyễn Thị Hương, Bạc Thị Khiêm, Vũ Thị Dung, Hồ Thị Kim Ngân, Phạm Ngọc Châm, Trần Nguyễn Ánh Ngân, Nguyễn Yến Nhi and Phạm Ngọc Ánh.

The team's target of two gold medals is a significant reduction from the nine they won at the previous Games in Hà Nội.

This is due to various factors, including changes in the format of competitions and new techniques being applied.

According to coach Tuấn, the host country has limited the number of categories participating countries can register to compete in and has also cut three weight classes from the kyorugi (sparring) disciplines.

In addition, the hosts have recruited naturalised athletes from South Korea, posing a significant challenge for the Vietnamese team.

Despite these difficulties, Tuấn remains optimistic about his team's chances, noting that a new rule of Best of 3 will be applied at the Phnom Penh Games, meaning that athletes who win in the first two rounds will automatically win the match.

However, he acknowledged that the changes in rules and techniques have been challenging for his team and that one year was not enough time to adapt fully.

Tokyo Olympian Tuyền, who competes in the women's 49kg class, also noted that it had taken some time for the team to adjust to the new rules and techniques, though she remains confident that they can succeed in their quest for gold medals.

With such a talented and determined group of athletes, there is no doubt that the Vietnamese Taekwondo team will be a force to be reckoned with at the Cambodian 32nd SEA Games.


Bạc Thị Khiêm (right) is the reigning champion in the women's 67kg category. — VNA/VNS Photo 

The team showed their progress after a short 30-day training course in South Korea, the motherland of taekwondo, in February. They took part in the Southeast Asian Championship and won seven golds, two silvers and two bronzes which ended on March 13 in the Philippines.

Among the winners were Tuyền and Khiêm, who shoulder heavy duty to win for Việt Nam in Cambodia.

One of the attempts to ensure the team's SEA Games target, the national team of South Korea, will be invited to Việt Nam next month. They will practise and have internal competitions with Vietnamese athletes.

"These activities will help my competitor's stable mind and better skills when they are in Cambodia," said Tuấn. VNS