Southeast Asian vovinam artists impress at world championship

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Martial artists from Southeast Asian countries have shown their mettle at the second World Vovinam Championships in Ho Chi Minh City although they are new to the sport.

Master Tuyet Loan, who coaches the Lao team, said that her trainees switched to vovinam from muay thai or kick-boxing and have been practicing vovinam for only a few months, but they have been able to learn a lot about the essential features of the sport.

Spectators at Ho Chi Minh City's Phu Tho Sports Center gave a big hand to Lao martial artists like Thongkhanh Vongphakdy, bronze medalist in ngu mon quyen (fist performance) and Ketsada Shihalath, bronze medalist in song luyen ma tau (double long knife).

Indonesian martial artist Suparto said, "We are good at pencak silat and tarung derajat, and thought that our martial arts are attractive enough.

"Yet when we saw vovinam performances, we were attracted by the Vietnamese sport and now many people in Indonesia are practicing it. Indonesian martial artists are happy to participate in this event and can see great prospects for the future."

Indonesian girl Wulandari won the silver medal in the long ho quyen (dragon-tiger fist) performance after a beautiful display.

Cambodian martial artists also left great impressions on the audience and the experts. Bunlong won the bronze medal in song luyen ma tau while Visal Soeng Sophaeak Kat took the bronze in song luyen dao (double scimitar).

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