World Vovinam championships to boost competition with new rules

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The 2nd Vovinam World Competition in Ho Chi Minh City next week will implement a series of new rules in a bid to make the event more competitive and give underdog teams from around the world a better shot at success in the  Vietnamese-born martial art.

Around 300 Vovinam competitors and officials from around 22 countries and territories will participate in the event July 27-31

At the first event at Ho Chi Minh City's 7th Military Zone Sports Center, contestants from only 14 countries and territories competed and Vietnamese martial artists topped the medal tally with 23 gold, four silver and two bronze medals.

However, an increase in the number of high-performing international teams promises more dramatic performances and fiercer competition this time around.

The number of members allowed on each team this year will be limited to give newly-developed teams a better chance of climbing higher in the medal tally.

Specifically, each team can register for a maximum of eight out of 13 men's performances and four out of six women's performances. In the combat categories, each team may only register for a maximum of eight men's weight categories and no more than four women's weight categories.

The event will be held at HCMC's Phu Tho Sports Center in District 11.

Organizers said the tournament is  a good chance to promote the Vietnamese martial art on the international stage, and an opportunity to prepare martial artists for the 2011 Asian Vovinam Championships, the 2011 European Vovinam Championships and the 26th South East Asian Games in Indonesia this November.

Vovinam officials said they have been working hard to make Vovinam an official game at more international events in the future.

"The competition this time will not only by exciting and dramatic with fierce fights and beautiful performances by international competitors, but it is an invitation for international Vovinam athletes from around the world to return to the martial art's fatherland and showcase its quintessential features," said World Vovinam Federation Chairman Vo Danh Thai.

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