LookAtVietnam – Wrestling is one of Viet Nam’s strong points, and is expected to push the team high in the SEA Games’ medal tally.
But the team’s manager, Pham Van Ty, is very confident of winning all three golds.
“We have no rivals in Southeast Asia. Vietnamese wrestlers met no difficulties at this year’s Asian and world championships,” says Ty.
“We believe that our athletes, Luong Thi Quyen (60kg), Nguyen Thi Lua (48kg) and Vu Thi Mai (45kg) will grab victories. The females are set to get two golds but we will take three,” he says.
Meanwhile the men’s team of free-style and Greco-Roman groups will shoulder three golds each.
Among four Greco-Roman wrestlers, veteran Man Ba Xuan has promised gold, which will be his fifth in a row.
The Army soldier will take part in the 74kg category and will retire after this Games, saying, “I am strong enough for the next Games, but I have tasted all the glories and bitters of my career. I should leave chances for the next generation.”
Xuan said good-bye to the national team two years ago because of a severe injury, but he returned to the competition mat in June when he received encouragement from coaches and his family to ensure a gold for Viet Nam.
However, he also says that it would be the most difficult tournament for him, as he is to face off against younger and stronger rivals who were given chances to practise in Mongolia and South Korea throughout this year.
“I must put in more than 100 per cent to compete with them in the last event,” says the 32-year-old.
Despite their debut at the SEA Games, Man’s teammates. Ho Quang Hai (55kg), Ta Ngoc Tan (60kg), Khong Khoa Van and Duong Van Tung (84kg), are expected to win their titles.
“We set a target of three golds, and we promise to fulfil it. We have prepared very carefully for the tournament and will get the best results,” said Soso, an expert from Gruzia, a world centre of wrestling.
However, Soso is worded about the poor performances of referees at the previous SEA Games. He said that Vietnamese athletes lost a number of gold medals because of referees’ wrong decisions. Therefore, the wrestlers must present their domination through the matches so that no one can deny their wins.
Coach Nguyen Quang Long of the free-style group is also confident to win three golds, as among his six wrestlers three are SEA Games champions – Pham Duc Khang (55kg), Bui Tuan Anh (66kg) and Nguyen Duy Hoi (74kg).
Three others are SEA Games’ freshmen, but after their outstanding performances at the national championship, they are thought to be in the running.
The wrestling events will kick off on December 13 and the finals are scheduled for December 17 at the Laos’ National University’s Booyong Gymnasium.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News