|Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất of Việt Nam (right) competes at a Muay Thai tournament last year. Nhất will start training with his teammates in HCM City for international events in 2017. — Photo webthethao.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The national Muay Thai team will gather early next month to prepare for international tournaments in 2017.
Fifteen male athletes will practice in HCM City until the end of the year. During this time they will compete at the world championships in Belarus in May, the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia in August, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG5) in Turkmenistan in September, the World Games in Poland in October and the World Cup in Mexico one month later.
The women will also join their teammates but for periods depending on their competitions.
Among these events the SEA Games and the AIMAG5 are the most important as Muay Thai contributed to Việt Nam’s medal totals in previous editions.
In 2016, Việt Nam won four gold medals at the Asian Beach Games in Đà Nẵng and one title at the world championship in Sweden.
“The International Olympic Committee is considering Muay Thai as a sport in the Olympic schedule. Many countries have focused on developing the sport, making for competitive matches,” said head coach Giáp Trung Thang.
“I have proposed the Việt Nam Sports Administration send our athletes abroad and hire experienced foreign coaches. We also have to develop the sport throughout the country to find talented athletes,” he added. — VNS