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Vietnamese girl fights her way to historic karate gold at international tournament

By Lam Thoa   September 10, 2017 | 11:40 pm PT
The 19-year-old beat the reigning world champion on her way to being crowned champion.

Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Ngoan won an historic gold medal at the Karate1-Premier League in Leipzig, Germany on Sunday after beating Jumaa Haya of Canada in the final of the women’s 61kg category.

The 19-year-old's victory is the best ever result achieved by a Vietnamese athlete in the kumite (freestyle fighting) discipline on the international stage.

On her road to glory, Ngoan defeated strong rivals from Turkey, Switzerland, the U.S. and France to advance to the semi-finals, where she stunned world champion Alisa Buchinger of Australia.

The Karate1-Premier League, organized by the World Karate Federation, is a series of prominent international competitions that are considered the most important in the sport.

This year’s event attracted 1,384 martial artists from 87 countries.

The Leipzig event is also one of the key qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with points earned going towards the world rankings.

Ngoan also won a bronze medal at the 2017 Karate1-Premier League in the UAE in April, and a bronze at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia last month.

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