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Boxers to trade blows in Ha Noi

Update: June, 10/2006 - 00:00

Boxers to trade blows in Ha Noi

(10-06-2006)

HA NOI — Vietnamese boxers are gearing up for the international Asian Cadet Boxing Championships and Women’s Open Tournament scheduled for June 10-18 in the capital.

The tournament expects to draw 152 boxers from countries and territories from India, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Thailand, China’s Guangxi, Hong Kong and Viet Nam competing in the 13 weight categories of boys age 15-17 and the women’s division.

Viet Nam will send 24 athletes to compete in all categories of the cadet and the women’s tournament, in which they hope to bring home the gold.

"The tournaments are a good test for young athletes in the future because I hope the women’s boxing will be selected for the Olympic Games’ roster," said vice- chairman and general secretary of Viet Nam Olympic Committee Hoang Vinh Giang.

The tournament will see the new Vietnamese faces who emerged at the national championship, including Nguyen Dac Thang, 15, in the 50kg class, Nguyen Tien Hung in the 52kg and Pham Son Tung in the 60kg division.

In a previous tournament in Ha Noi, Viet Nam team took only one gold medal when Nguyen Minh Hieu stunned Han Shang-ho from South Korea in the men’s 57kg category and helped Viet Nam rank fourth with one gold and six bronze medals.

In the women’s event, Viet Nam will show their main squad of national champions, including Lo Thi Nam from Dac Lac in the 46kg division, Dinh Thi Phuong Thanh from Ha Noi in the 60kg and Nguyen Thi Thu Huong in the 63kg, who all expect to sail into the finals.

The number of women boxers joining the event has increased over the past three years, evidenced from over 100 boxers from 12 clubs competing in the national championships organised in Thai Binh last year.

According to experts, women’s boxing is a newly developing sport in the Southeast Asian region, and Viet Nam’s boxers stand a good chance against the best in the world.

"Vietnamese boxers have the potential to be the top in the world," said Vu Trong Thinh, head of the boxing section of the National Sports and Physical Training Committee.

In the past, Hanoian Ta Thi Minh Nghia took a bronze medal for Viet Nam in the women’s 50kg class in the International Boxing Ahment Comert Tournament in Turkey after taking a bronze medal at the Taiwan Amateur Women’s Boxing Tournament.

"This is the best result achieved by the country’s women boxers at an international tournament," said coach Nguyen Nhu Cuong. "Though we still lack experience, our women boxers will train hard to be ready for the future."

Among participating teams at the tournament this year, Kazakhstan are still a powerhouse as they dominated the previous championship with eight golds and four bronze medals, ahead of India, who came second, winning two golds, two silvers and five bronze medals. — VNS

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