Taekwondo coach finally able to afford London trip
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Tran Quang Ha, who coaches the Vietnamese national taekwondo athletes, was at first crossed out from the sport’s delegation list to the London Olympics 2012, but eventually managed to earn a trip there thanks to authorities’ help.
Coach Tran Quang Ha (L) takes care of his trainee during a competition Photo: Tuoi Tre
The former martial artist, who was the first Vietnamese to win a gold medal at an Asiad championship, said Friday that he may leave for London on August 5 to watch his trainees’ competition and learn coaching experience from the event.
The trip will be funded by the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, where he used to be head coach of the taekwondo squad.
“However, I’m still waiting for the official decision from the General Department of Sports and Physical Training,” he added.
Earlier Ha, despite his participation card issued by the Olympic management board, was not allowed to accompany his favorite trainee -- martial artist Le Huynh Chau, who is the highest hope for a London medal, as the taekwondo sponsor just did not include him in the delegation list.
“The Korea-based CJ Group, which funds the whole London trip for the taekwondo delegation, holds the right to decide who will go to the event,” said Lam Quang Thanh, head of the Vietnamese sport delegation at the Olympic.
The sponsor, which hired two Korean experts to closely monitor Chau and his teammate Chu Hoang Dieu Linh during their training session in Korea, chose Vietnamese coach Ho Anh Tuan as an accompanier.
“Hence, we could only let Tuan accompany the athletes,” said Thanh.
CJ Group also promised a $50,000 award for a gold medal, and $30,000 and $20,000 for a silver and bronze, respectively.
In handling the issue, the General Department of Sports and Physical Training had promised to intervene, saying it would ask relevant agencies to provide financial help for the coach.