Vietnamese fencing sets high bar for SEA Games 31

By Hoang Nguyen   March 9, 2021 | 01:00 am PT
Vietnamese fencing sets high bar for SEA Games 31
A Vietnamese fencing athlete celebrates the victory in SEA Games 2019 in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of the Southeast Asian Games Federation.
High expectations are placed on Vietnam's national fencing team with SEA Games 31 hosted in the country this year.

Vietnam Sports Administration and Hanoi Culture and Sports Department decided all fencing matches during SEA Games 31 would occur at Hanoi Indoor Games Gymnasium.

The arena system, international standard scoring box and video assistant referee all need updating prior to the SEA Games kickoff.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, Olympics Tokyo might take place close to SEA Games 31, posing a challenge for fencers who would have less time to prepare or recover their stamina.

Phung Le Quang, fencing division manager, Vietnam Sports Administration, told media that: "Preparations for SEA Games 31 is progressing normally. Here, the target is to win four gold medals out of 12 fencing categories. Achieving this goal could place Vietnam in the top two of the event."

"To achieve this goal, there are high hopes for fencers like Vu Thanh An, Nguyen Xuan Loi in the saber category and Nguyen Tien Nhat in the epee event. In the foil category, it would be difficult for us to clinch a gold medal, though expectations still rest on Nguyen Minh Quang," he added.

At present, fencers are maintaining their training schedules despite the lack of competitions. Should the pandemic situation improve, they may be able to join Olympic Tokyo qualifiers in April or other tournaments that could help them accumulate more points.

In the last SEA Games in the Philippines, Vietnamese fencing scored four gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

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