Olympic fencer apologizes, admits to assaulting teammate

By Lam Thoa   October 4, 2022 | 11:36 pm PT
Olympic fencer apologizes, admits to assaulting teammate
Vu Thanh An (R) celebrates with his teammate after winning the SEA Games 31 team saber gold medal in May 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Olympic fencer Vu Thanh An has apologized to Nguyen Van Quyet for assaulting him and received a national fencing team ban valid until the end of the year.

"We have consulted Vietnam Sports Administration regarding this national fencing team incident. Vu Thanh An will not be called up to the team until the end of the year. For an athlete, to be removed from the national team is a heavy punishment," Phung Le Quang, head of the Fencing Department of the Vietnam Sports Administration, told VnExpress on Wednesday.

The altercation occurred during the training session of the Vietnamese fencing team at Hanoi Sports Training Center on Sept. 23. An said Quyet had a poor attitude and cursed a lot during training, which made him angry.

However, Quyet said he was practicing normally when suddenly An hit him hard in the back with the training saber, forcing him to stop. An then punched and continued attacking him with the saber, which drew blood and prompted a hospital visit. Quyet's family then filed a report to the Nam Tu Liem District police.

"If an athlete admits to and corrects their wrongdoings, we will consider calling him back to the team at the end of the year. If not, the ban will be maintained. Our position is very clear, even if you’re a star and your behavior is not good, we won’t accept you. Fortunately, An has realized his mistake. An and Quyet must understand that this incident is very serious and has affected the team," Quang added.

An visited Quyet's house and apologized to him Monday evening.

"An apologized to me and also promised to do it in front of the team and media. If he realized his mistake, I also don't want to take this any further, because we are teammates after all. I accept his apology," Quyet told VnExpress.

Earlier, An's father also met Quyet's family to apologize for his son's mistake.

An is a star of Vietnamese fencing, having won five SEA Games gold medals and competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. At the last SEA Games in May this year An, Quyet and their teammates won the team saber gold for Vietnam.

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