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Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

By Giang Huy   April 13, 2022 | 09:00 pm PT
The national fencing team are engaged in intense practice and preparations to achieve the target of three gold medals at the SEA Games 31.
Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

The team will have 24 athletes competing in 12 events (six individual and six team events).

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

The fencers began training right after the Lunar New Year. With a month to go until the main event, they have to train twice a day, focusing in particular on improving their skills and stamina.

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

There was a time when fencing was considered Vietnam's golden sport at the SEA Games. In 2015, the fencers won eight gold medals in 12 events.

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

However, in more recent SEA Games editions, Vietnamese fencing has not been able to record such impressive results. In 2017 and 2019, they only won three and four gold medals, respectively. This has prompted a minimum target of three gold medals at the SEA Games 31, which Vietnam is hosting.

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

Over the past two years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the fencers only trained in Vietnam. There were two domestic tournaments a year, which are not enough for the fencers to improve their levels. A plan to have the team train in South Korea did not go through.

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

"I have been fencing for six years now. I'm fortunate that my family always supports me mentally, so I can compete with a clear mind. Although there are many challenges at the moment, the team will try our best to win golds for Vietnam," said 18-year-old Nguyen Thi Kieu Oanh, the youngest national team member.

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

A sensor device on the attire records when a player is hit. It also allows referees to assess the level of the hits. When the device turns red or blue, the hit is legit, but if it turns white, it will not be counted.

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

The competing area has a length of 14 m and a width of 1.5 to 2 m. It's divided horizontally in half. Each time a fencer steps outside of his or her court, it will count as a correct hit.

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

After each training session, a fencer will get a few minutes to his or her breath before continuing. The sessions comprise three games of three minutes each, exactly the format at the SEA Games.

Vietnamese fencers in the cut and thrust for SEA Games

Four fencers display their determination to do well in the women’s team event – one of the biggest hopes of Vietnamese fencing in the upcoming tournament.

 
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