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Vietnamese judo and kurash fighters face tough SEA Games challenge

The Vietnamese judo and kurash teams may not be in top form as they target gold medals at the SEA Games this year, experts worry.

"Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many tournaments had to change their schedule, especially the Tokyo Olympics, which has been moved to 2021. That means the national Judo team had to accumulate points to qualify for the Olympics even while preparing for the SEA Games," Nguyen Huu An, Judo and Kurash Division Manager at the High-Performance Sports Department under the Vietnam Sports Administration, told local media.

Vietnamese judo, kurash fighters, SEA Games challenge

Vu Ngoc Son (in green) takes down his opponent in a kurash match at SEA Games 31 on December 2, 2019. 

An also said after the Olympics, athletes may not be in top form for the SEA Games 31 because they might be drained of their stamina. Another problem is that training and competing only in Vietnam will not improve the skill and preparedness level of the athletes.

Therefore, the department will send the judo athletes to compete in some international tournaments in Taiwan, Japan or South Korea to gain some more experience. Thirty athletes and four coaches will be called up to the national team and they will train in Taiwan or Mongolia.

For kurash, 20 athletes and three coaches will be called up to the national team and train in South Korea or Uzbekistan. The team will also compete in the world championship in Taiwan and the Asia indoor championship in Thailand in June.

"The goal set for the teams are challenging, while the annual budget for training and competing is limited. But our judo and kurash will aim for SEA Games 31 golds with determination," An said.

At SEA Games 30 in the Philippines 2019, Vietnam clinched two gold, four silver and four bronze medals in judo and seven gold medals in kurash.

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Theo VnExpress

Vietnamese judo, kurash fighters, SEA Games challenge
 
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