The 15-member national wushu team is aiming to win five or six gold medals in the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games which kicked off yesterday in Indonesia.
HA NOI —
Male martial artist Quoc Khanh and trio Nguyen Huy Thanh-Tran Duc Trong-Tran Xuan Hiep are candidates for gold medals in the performance event.
In the combat event, 16th Asian Games silver medallists Nguyen Thi Bich and Phan Van Hau are favourites to win. In addition to them, 25th SEA Games gold medallists Tan Thi Ly and Tran Van Kien, and 16th Asian Games bronze medallist Nguyen Minh Thong are expected to bring home gold medals.
The team also welcomes Bui Quy Linh, Do Duc Cuong, Hoang Van Linh, Pham Duy Viet, plus two returning "veterans" once they have fully recovered from sports injury – Vu Thuy Linh and Nguyen Mai Phuong.
One highly notable change this year is the absence of Vu Tra My. Despite the coaching staff's encouragement, the wushu artist has left the team. My is widely known for her talent in swordsmanship and two-weapon combat.
In preparation for the Games, the team underwent an intensive training programme in China under the guidance of Chinese experts. The team also played well at the recent world event in Turkey with one gold, one silver and one bronze medals.
World gold medallist Nguyen Thanh Tung of the men's non-fighting event taijiquan is really a spiritual inspiration for the team looking ahead in the Games.
At present, the team is training at the Ha Noi-based National Sports Centre.
Next Tuesday, they will leave for Indonesia to start the competition running from November 18-21.
At the 25th event, the team made it to the number one position with seven golds, six silvers and one bronze. — VNS