Weight class exclusions force Vietnamese pencak silat champs to miss SEA Games

By Minh Thu   September 13, 2019 | 09:47 am GMT+7
Weight class exclusions force Vietnamese pencak silat champs to miss SEA Games
Nguyen Van Tri reacts after winning a gold medal for Vietnam in pencak silat at ASIAD 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Binh.

Two pencak silat gold medalists at ASIAD 2018 cannot compete at SEA Games 30 because their weight classes are not included.

The affected athletes are Nguyen Van Tri and Tran Dinh Nam.

The Philippines, host of the 30th edition of the SEA Games, has not included either Tri's 90-95 kilograms division or Nam's 70-75 kilograms division in the five weight divisions in which contests take place. All five are lightweight divisions and not the forte of the two Vietnamese fighters.

Tran Dinh Nam raises the national flag after winning a gold medal for Vietnam in Pencak Silat at ASIAD 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Binh.

Tran Dinh Nam raises the national flag after winning a gold medal for Vietnam in pencak silat at ASIAD 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Binh.

According to Nguyen Van Hung, head-coach of Vietnamese pencak silat national team, the host country has the right to decide the sports' categories and this is a tactic often used in SEA Games.

Hung said the move aims to eliminate Vietnamese fighters, including Nam and Tri who performed well in weight classes, right from the start.

Tran Thi Them, female silver medal list at SEA Games 2017 and ASIAD 2018, will be the only member of the national pencak silat team to compete in the 55-kilogram category in the Philippines.

Beisde their gold medals at ASIAD 2018, Tri snatched a gold medal while Nam earned a silver medal at the SEA Games 29 in Malaysia.

Vietnam will host the next SEA Games.

 
 
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