The Vietnamese wrestling team will compete at the Asian Wrestling Championships in South Korea from February 16-19 as part of their preparations for the 2012 London Olympic qualifying rounds.
HA NOI –
The team includes freestyle female wrestlers Nguyen Thi Lua (in the 48kg category), Tran Thi Dieu Ninh (55kg category), Duong Thi Lan (59kg category), and Luong Thi Quyen (63kg category). Freestyle male wrestlers include Nguyen Huy Ha (55kg category) and Can Tat Du (74kg category).
All team members will compete in the Olympic qualifying round except for Lan whose weight category has not been included in the Games.
Nguyen The Long, head of the Wrestling Department of the National Sports Administration, said the weakest point of the Vietnamese athletes is their lack of competition experience. Taking part in high-quality tournaments like the Asian Wrestling Championships would help them gain confidence and train their skills and spirits, he added.
In the 2011 Wrestling World Championships, four official qualifications were set for the Asian zone in Quyen's 63kg category, including China's Jing Ruixue, Mongolia's Ochirbatyn Nasanburmaa, Japan's Kaori Icho and North Korea's Kim Ran-mi.
In Lua's 48kg category, Kazakhstan's Zhuldyz Eshimova, China's Zhao Sasha and Japan's Hitomi Obara have already secured berths while Japan's Saori Yoshidia claimed her spot in Ninh's 55kg category. The Vietnamese wrestlers will not have to compete against these tough rivals in the Olympic qualifying rounds which boosts the opportunities for Viet Nam to earn their first wrestling tickets to London.
Long said that the athletes would participate in all the rounds, including the Asian zone round from March 30 to April 1 in Kazakhstan, the first world round from April 27-29 in China and the second world round from May 4-6 in Finland. – VNS