Vietnamese athlete wins first world karate silver

Southeast Asian Games champion Nguyen Hoang Ngan won Viet Nam's first-ever silver medal in the World Karate Championships, which ended on Oct. 15 in Finland.

In the final of the women's kata (demonstration) event, the 23-year-old lost to Italy's Tucci, whom Ngan easily beat in the German Karatedo Open tournament two weeks ago.

After winning the Kobe Osaka World Championship gold in Greece last month and the last two Southeast Asian Games titles, Ngan added another notch o­n her belt with an impressive performance in the final of the four-day world championship at Tampere Ice Stadium.

The Vietnamese champion beat last year's runner-up, Szkudladek of France, 3-2 with a seipai performance in the opening round.

Ngan sailed through the third round, after her Indian opponent's withdrawal, and then overcame Canadian two-time world bronze medallist Vadovikova. In the fourth round, Ngan upstaged Croatian M Sejnug 4-1 and then continued her winning streak to defeat Japanese favourite Tomothiro, who hails from the home of karatedo, 3-2 in the semi-final round.

In the final, Ngan seemed to lose her focus under the pressure, dropping points early in the paichiu performance. The Italian won 4-1 to take the title.

Some 1,000 athletes from all over the world competed in four categories for teams, six for women and seven for men./.