Tram wins bronze for VN at Asian champs

Tran Thi Ngoc Tram was the only Vietnamese to take home a medal at the Asian Taekwondo Championships in Zheng Zhou, China, on Sunday, winning bronze in the women’s over-72kg category.

The country’s other three athletes, including Southeast Asian Games defending champions Nguyen Trong Cuong and Nguyen Minh Hieu, all failed their games o­n Sunday. Both Cuong and Hieu lost to their opponents from Chinese Taipei and Jordan, respectively, in late third sets.

The organisation board applied a new scoring system using electronic armour the athletes wear during competition. This was the first time the Vietnamese athletes used the gear in the 18 year-long history of the competition, which proved a disadvantage as they didn’t get a chance to get used to it, said Viet Nam head coach Nguyen Dang Khanh.

On the opening day last Saturday, Hoang Ha Giang, who already held a ticket to the Beijing Olympic Games, was the first Vietnamese favourite to fall at the four-day tournament when she lost her under-49kg match.

Asian Youth champion Tran Thi Ngoc Truc and Southeast Asian champion Trinh Kim Tuong Van also suffered early exits after losing their under-52kg and under-72kg matches to South Korean and Lebanese rivals o­n Saturday.