Ngan snatches World Games gold

Karakas Nguyen Hoang Ngan clinched gold in the women’s kata (performance) event at the World Games in Kaoshiung City, Taiwan yesterday, July 26.

 It’s the o­nly gold medal for Viet Nam at the 10-day event when the World Games came to an end yesterday.

Ngan, who won the world championship after taking gold at the World Karate Championships in Tokyo last November, overcame Dominican Dimitrio and Maria in the final performance to bring home the precious medal.

The gold saw Viet Nam rank 38th out of 62 teams.

Earlier, wushu martial artists, in a demonstration event that did not count for the medal tally, took two silvers and two bronzes in the taolu (performance) and sanshou (combat) events.

Ha Noi-born Ngan o­nce again proved her skills as a world champion.

She had to overcome Sarah Sayed of Egypt, Senjug Mirna from Croatia and Japanese Wakabayasi Kasuga in the qualifying round before beating Battaglia Sara from Italy in the semi-final.

The 25-year-old athlete also won golds in the Kobe Osaka International World Cup in Greece in 2006 and 2007, and another in the Paris Open in 2007.

On Thursday, Vietnamese Vu Tra My grabbed a silver medal in wushu event.

My collected 9.63 points in the women’s changquan (long fist) event after a convincing performance.

Another silver medal went to Nguyen Thuy Ngan who won in the women’s sanshou (combat) under-52kg category.

At the World Games, Viet Nam o­nly sent 12 competitors, in billiards and snooker, finswimming, sport aerobics, karate and wushu.

As it closed, around 2,000 athletes and volunteers swarmed into the stadium to thundering cheers from a capacity crowd of more than 40,000.

The defending champion Russia grabbed 18 golds, followed by Italy with 17 golds. China was third, the United States fourth with 13 golds, and the host came seventh with eight gold medals.

The 31 sports, including five demonstration sports, drew almost 6,000 athletes from 103 countries and territories. The first Games in Santa Clara, in the United States in 1981, drew 1,265 athletes in 18 sports.

The World Games, in the years following the Olympic Games, features six groups of sport such as artistic and dance sports, ball sports, martial arts, precision sports, strength sports and trend sports.