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Fencers face uphill battle to win Olympics slots

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Vũ Thành An (right) competes at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines in 2019. An is hoping to win an Olympic berth at the Asian Qualifying Tournament later this month in Uzbekistan. Photo tinmientrung.com

Fencing

Thanh Hà

HÀ NỘI — The COVID-19 pandemic has left Vietnamese fencers with a slim chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in July.

The fencers are aiming for one or two slots at the event, half of the figure of the previous Games. However, even that may be a tall order.

All eyes are on Vũ Thành An, who stands the best chance of being on the plane to Tokyo.

Per Olympic rules, Asia’s top three fencers will qualify. An is currently in the top three and close to the point threshold to be second and automatically qualify. If he could have competed in at least five events in 2020 he would already have qualified, according to his coaches.

But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, An competed in only four and unexpectedly missed the recent World Cup in Hungary, the last competition with points on offer.

“An was No 3 in Asia in the March rankings. We were full of hope that he could lift his position up and advance to the Olympics because many powerful athletes did not compete at the Hungarian tournament as they had already won their slots. But he could not compete because of difficulties in visa procedures for Hungary in this COVID-19 situation,” said national head coach Phạm Anh Tuấn.

“Not participating meant that we lost our best chance.”

An’s last opportunity to make his second Olympics is at the Asian zone qualifying round in Uzbekistan later this month.

He will leave for the event on April 20 with five other teammates and coaches.

There will be six individual categories at the April 25-26 event and only the champion of each event will go to Tokyo.

Coach Tuấn said An (sabre) and veteran Olympian Nguyễn Tiến Nhật (epee) only had about a 10 per cent chance of winning in Uzbekistan.

“Although the tournament is for countries that do not yet have representatives at the Olympics, it is still really tough for us,” said Tuấn.

“For example, in An’s pool, there are no powerhouses from South Korea, Japan, Iran and China, but he will face at least six title candidates from Kazakhstan, Hong Kong, Australia, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the hosts. 

“As it is also the last chance for all, everyone is determined and will try as hard as we can.”

An is in his last stage of preparations for the event in Tashkent.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and long-term knee and ankle injuries have prevented me from carrying out many activities,” An told Việt Nam News.

“No intensive training or tournaments made my technique, tactics and competition feeling not as sharp as necessary. It will definitely affect my performance but it is only one of many challenges that I will have to overcome for the best result,” he said.

“Being considered the most likely fencer to take an Olympic slot is also pressure on my shoulders. But, I have become gradually familiar with the feeling after many years in fencing,” said An, the two-time Asian bronze medal winner.

Despite the odds being stacked against him, the four-time Southeast Asian Games champion was confident that he would succeed.

“We have had a new foreign expert coach for more than one year. He has brought a breath of fresh air to the team. We have learnt many new things from him. I hope that I can apply them in the coming matches,” the 27-year-old said.

An, who defended his national titles last November, said he does not know how many athletes will take part in his category but guessed that to reach the final he would fence in at least four matches.

“We know it will be tough but I am always encouraged and determined. And I also believe in my ability. I will take my slot, and things will go that way,” he said.

Việt Nam has dominated Southeast Asian Games fencing since 2011. They pocketed an individual epee bronze at the Asian Games in 2014 in South Korea two years before An’s Asian championship bronzes.

Vietnamese fencers first qualified for the Olympics in 2012 in London. Four years later, there were four representatives in both men’s and women’s classes in Rio de Janeiro.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/sports/922237/fencers-face-uphill-battle-to-win-olympics-slots.html

Entertainment-Sports

Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

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Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

Nguyen Quang Hai has a muscle problem during a training session of the national football team on May 17, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.


Some key players of the national football team have suffered injuries while training for the upcoming World Cup Asian qualifiers.

Midfielder Luong Xuan Truong had a problem with his ankle during a match in training on May 11. He is expected to return after a week. He will train with the doctor of the national team Choi Ju-young for faster recovery.

Attacking midfieder Nguyen Hoang Duc has suffered a more serious injury, damaging his left instep after receiving a tackle during training on Saturday. It will take him longer to return to training.

In the latest training session on Monday, key midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai showed a distinct lack of tamina. After checking on the 24-year-old, Dr. Choi said Hai has muscle fatigue and he will need to rest to avoid injuries.

But coach Park Hang-seo has also had some good news. Three injured players, leftback Doan Van Hau, rightback Nguyen Trong Hoang and fullback Le Van Xuan have returned to training. These athletes haven’t played for a long time, so they will try and regain their form quickly.

Three other players– goalkeeper Nguyen Van Hoang, defender Pham Xuan Manh and forward Phan Van Duc – have also joined the national team after finishing their quarantine. Earlier this month, they’d had indirect contact with a Covid-19 case in their club, Song Lam Nghe An.

Tuyển Việt Nam tập chiều 16/5

 
 

Vietnam football squad suffer training injuries

Tuyển Việt Nam tập chiều 16/5

Vietnam football squad train in Hanoi on May 16, 2021.

After each training session, Dr. Choi and the medical team will check on all players and evaluate their condition then report to coach Park. This will help players stay fit and avoid unwanted problems. They have been maintaining a tight schedule with the V. League for the past few months and need a proper routine of training and resting to preserve stamina, officials have said.

The national team have been in training since May 7 with the frequency of one session a day. Towards the end of May, coach Park will select 27 from a shortlist of 37 players for the World Cup qualifiers in the UAE. Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam will fly to the UAE from Japan.

The Golden Dragons will play a friendly against Jordan on May 31. The team will play their World Cup qualifers against Indonesia on June 7, Malaysia on June 11 and the UAE on June 15. Vietnam currently top group G with 11 points. Six points out of three games will see the team advancing to the last round of World Cup qualifers for the first time in history.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/sports/football/vietnam-football-squad-suffer-training-injuries-4280344.html

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Vietnam defeat Iraq in preparation for FIFA Futsal World Cup play-off

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Vietnam staged a comeback to beat Iraq 2-1 in a friendly game in the UAE on Monday night in their preparation for the play-off to win a ticket to the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

The game took place behind closed doors and without media coverage.

According to Tran Anh Tu, a standing member of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), who is also head of the Vietnamese futsal delegation to the UAE, Iraq mainly defended and counterattacked in the first half.

Vietnam dominated the game and created a lot of chances.

However, a mistake in the Vietnamese defense line lent the Iraqis a chance to score the opening goal. 

But before the end of the first half, Pham Duc Hoa managed to net the equalizer for Vietnam after several misses.

In the second half, although Iraq organized more attacks, Vietnam still controlled the game before raising the goal difference to 2-1 in the 35th minute, when Dac Huy headed home after Chau Doan Phat’s shot bounced off.

The score remained unchanged until the referee blew the whistle to end play.

The 2-1 victory uplifted the entire Vietnamese national men’s futsal team, according to Tu.

“The match against Iraq certainly helped the coaching staff learn a lot of experience and point out things they need to overcome before playing the official matches against Lebanon,” Tu said, referring to the two-legged play-off comprising two games at 10:00 pm on May 23 and May 25 (Vietnam time).

The goal of the Vietnamese national futsal team is to win a ticket to the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the second time, after the first one in 2016 in Colombia. 

At the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, Vietnam not only unexpectedly made it to the finals, but also played jubilantly and reached the Round of 16.

The 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup will be held in Lithuania from September 12 to October 13 this year.

The quadrennial international futsal championship was originally scheduled to run from September 12 to October 4, 2020 as the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together with Lithuania who qualify automatically as hosts, 23 other teams from six separate continental competitions will compete in the final tournament.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/sports/20210518/vietnam-defeat-iraq-in-preparation-match-for-fifa-futsal-world-cup-playoff/61007.html

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Khanh Van’s impressive outfits at Miss Universe 2020

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Reviewing the journey of Miss Universe Vietnam Nguyen Tran Khanh Van at Miss Universe 2020 pageant through her most impressive costumes.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van quickly impressed the audience and the media with her diverse and outstanding fashion style. She appeared at the airport with this outfit – a dark red knitted vest combined with a trendy short, mixed with bags and suitcases of similar colors.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van prepared up to 15 pieces of luggage and nearly 200 dresses, from gorgeous evening designs to youthful streetwear.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
This outfit is inspired by the water lily of Dong Thap Muoi region, associated with life in Southwest of Vietnam.
Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020
Khanh Van wrote on her personal page: “Bringing Vietnamese beauty and culture to Miss Universe”. This outfit is inspired by the terraced fields of Vietnam.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

According to a beauty site, Khanh Van ranked first for having the most beautiful outfits, followed by the representatives of Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and Thailand.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

Khanh Van, 26, stands at 1.76 metres tall and measures 83-61-95. She was previously crowned as Miss Universe Vietnam 2019, thereby winning the right to represent the country at the Miss Universe 2020 pageant.

Thời trang ấn tượng của Khánh Vân tại Miss Universe 2020

She had arrived in the US on May 2 and competed alongside 73 contestants from around the world over a two-week period in several different events as part of the pageant, including the national costume, evening gown, and swimsuit sub-contests, in addition to the semi-final night.

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Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/entertainment-sports/khanh-van-s-impressive-outfits-at-miss-universe-2020-737468.html

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