Top national judo athlete Van Ngoc Tu, 24, left for France yesterday to take part in the World Judo Championships which kicks off in Paris next Tuesday.
HA NOI —
Set to be the only Vietnamese contestant, Tu is aiming for high ranking as well as a ticket to the London Olympics in 2012.
Participants will take part in seven weight categories for men, ranging from under-60kg to over-100kg, and seven for women including under-48kg to over-78kg.
Tu, the Southeast Asian Games defending champion, will compete in the women's under-48kg class against 50 other opponents including defending world champion Asami Haruna and former winner Tomoko Fukumi of Japan, world silver medallist Oiana Blanco from Spain, Mexican champion Edna Carrillo and Chinese Asian champion Wu Shugen.
According to the World Judo Federation, athletes who have triumphed at continental championships will automatically qualify for the London event alongside those who rank the highest continentally based on points gathered from official events.
The 45th ranked judoka has managed to collect 138 points thus far and is full of hope of taking the last Asian berth.
However, the Vietnamese athlete will have to keep a close eye on rivals Alexandra Podryadova from Kazakhstan and Hwang Ryu-ok of North Korea.
The World Championship, set to draw 1,000 contestants from 136 countries, is scheduled to conclude on August 28. — VNS