Women carry Asian Games medal hopes

Vietnamese athletes will be competing in the Asian Games for only the second time when the biggest sporting event of the region kicks off in China this November.

At the 15th ASIAD in Qatar two years ago, Viet Nam, who were up against strong from Japan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China, failed to win a medal.

This time around, the coaching board is hoping the women's team will win at least two medals.

"Honestly, our male contenders have no chance at this continent level competition because their rivals are too strong," said Nguyen The Long, head of the National Sports Administration's Wrestling Department. "Only the women can do it."

Women wrestlers won two silver medals at the 2009 Asian and the Asian Junior Wrestling championships.

However, he said the women's team could o­nly hope to win medals in the light weight categories.

Nguyen Thi Lua (under-48kg) and duo Luong Thi Quyen and Pham Thi Hue (under-55kg) are to lead Viet Nam's medal challenge in Guangzhou.

"They have good skills and technique but lack experience, which is very important in international competition. If they train hard and take part in as many international tournaments as possible, they will go from strength to strength," Long said.

The 65-member national team officially started their training o­n Monday at Ha Noi's National Sports and Physical Training Centre.

The Asian Games will be followed by the Youth Olympics in Singapore in August.

The best athletes will take part in the Asian Wrestling Championship from May 12-16 in New Dehli, India. Meanwhile, the juniors will make their debut at the Youth Olympics' qualifying round o­n April 30-May 2 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Later, the team will take part in the world championship in Montenegro in August and the championship for juniors in Russia in September.

Source: VietNamNews