22 December 2004

Viet Nam revel in world title

22 Dec 2004, VIETNAM - Viet Nam’s pencak silat artists retained their world beating position at the martial art’s world championships that wrapped in Singapore on Sunday.

The Vietnamese team bagged eight gold, nine silver and three bronze medals, beating second-placed Malaysia, and third-placed Indonesia.

Viet Nam’s 26-member squad took part in 24 events including six seni (performance) and 18 tanding (combat).

In the tanding competition, Vietnamese artists dominated with eight gold, eight silver and a bronze, and in the seni competition they took a silver and two bronze.

"Although faced with many difficulties during the championship, our artists played with their best spirits, showing the pride of world champions," said national coach Nguyen Ngoc Anh at Noi Bai International Airport on Monday.

Ngoc Anh, 32, said as the title defenders, which they won for the past two years in Malaysia, Viet Nam showed "we are still the leading country in pentjak silat".

Le Thi Hang opened the event with a gold in the 50kg class, her teammate Le Thi Thu Huong added a gold in the 60kg division, and Le Thi Hong Ngoan took home the top prize in the heavyweight 75kg category.

The men completed a gold haul with Nguyen Ngoc Anh, in 60kg, Le Anh Tuan, in 70kg and Dinh Cong Son in the 75kg class.

Tunggal competitor Nguyen Viet Anh pulled off a perfect performance to snare gold in men’s singles, and teammates Nguyen Huy Bao, Le Quang Dung and Nguyen Dang Linh took out the team (regu) event.

The world championship attracted 250 artists from 31 countries competing in seni and tanding events.

Viet Nam is widely touted to host the 2006 World Championship, according to the national coach.

Sourced from Vietnam News at http://vietnamnews.vnanet.vn/2004-12/21/Stories/27.htm

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