Reigning champion Duyên to face strong rivals at the 32nd SEA Games

April 27, 2023 - 09:41
Reigning champion Hoàng Thị Duyên is expected to defend her title against some tough challengers, including the powerful Elreen Ann Ando of the Philippines.


Hoàng Thị Duyên (left) and her teammate are preparing for their training. Duyên will compete for gold at the 32nd SEA Games in May in Cambodia. — VNA/VNS Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Excitement is building as the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia approaches, with weightlifting fans eagerly anticipating the fierce competition in the women's 59kg category.

Reigning champion Hoàng Thị Duyên is expected to defend her title against some tough challengers, including the powerful Elreen Ann Ando of the Philippines.

Duyên, a seasoned veteran at just 27 years old, has dominated the category in the previous two Games, setting two impressive records in the snatch and total weight categories. She represented Việt Nam at the Tokyo Olympics and narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing in fifth place.

However, Ando is a formidable opponent, having secured a silver medal in the 64kg class at the previous two Games.

Ando's recent switch to the 59kg category has been a topic of much discussion, especially after she posted a record-setting 125kg lift in the clean and jerk during a qualifying tournament in February.

But Ando isn't the only rival Duyên will have to contend with.

Pimsiri Sirikaew of Thailand, the SEA Games runner-up, has an impressive track record, including two Olympic silver medals from 2012 and 2016. At 33 years old, Sirikaew may be a veteran, but she is certainly no pushover.

Despite the fierce competition, Duyên remains confident in her abilities. Currently in a training course in China, she will return to Việt Nam on April 30 before travelling to Cambodia for the Games. 

Lại Gia Thành is confident of defending his 55kg title at the regional Games. — VNA/VNS Photo 

"We keep a close eye on athletes to ensure their best fitness for the SEA Games," said coach Lưu Văn Thắng.

"Apart from improving their technique, we also supervise them about banned substances that have caused big trouble for several athletes in the past."

Thắng said his lifters won three golds and set six records at the 31st Games. This year, they are expected to bring home two golds.

Duyên is one of the golden hopes, and the other is champion Lại Gia Thành in the men's 55kg class.

In 2022, Thành had no difficulty dominating local tournaments and the Asian championship. He confirmed his readiness to defend his top position.

At the 31st Games, Thành won gold with a record result of 268kg, 12kg heavier than his Thai runners-up.

In the 32nd Games, the national team will also debut new stars who are expected to shine, according to Nguyễn Huy Hùng of the Weightlifting Department of the Việt Nam Sports Administration.

Among them are Nguyễn Trần Anh Tuấn in the men's 61kg and Trần Đình Thắng in the men's 102kg.

Tuấn won gold in the clean and jerk event at the Asian championship in 2022 in Bahrain. His outstanding performance at the December National Sports Games gave him a slot in the SEA Games team for the first time.

"I am over the moon when called for the SEA Games," said Tuấn. "I want to do something special in my debut."

"I am good in the clean and jerk and will bring my strong points into play. My goal in every tournament is gold."

Trần Đình Thắng believes he will win and set new records in the men's 102kg category. — VNA/VNS Photo 

Thắng was also excited about the Games. He said he couldn't wait to compete in Cambodia.

"I will come to Cambodia with my determination to fight and to win," he said. "I also set my target to not only win a gold medal but also set a new record."

Weightlifting has seven weight categories, each for men and women. It will be held from May 13-16 at the Taekwondo Hall, Olympic Complex, in Phnom Penh. — VNS