HÀ NỘI — The men’s Vietnamese pencak sila team began their tanding (combat) event in the North Từ Liêm sporting centre in Hà Nội on May 13.
The team earned wins over the Philippines and Indonesia in the men’s 55-60kg weight category quarter-final team event but suffered a loss to Singapore.
The Malaysia team had a good start day beating Laos, Thailand and the Philippines.
Indonesia had two wins over Singapore and the Philippines, while Thailand tasted only one win over Singapore.
Tough opponents Indonesia, Malaysia and Việt Nam will do their best to win every match for the gold medal at the region’s biggest sporting event.
Iqbal Abdul Rahman, who won the first gold medal for Singapore in the pencak silat seni event on May 12, said he had won the world championship in 2018, but the gold medal of the SEA Games 31 was his first ever after six times competing in the Games.
Head coach of the Việt Nam team, Nguyễn Văn Hùng, said pencak silat had become tougher as regional countries had made a big investment in the sport.
He said the difference among countries had narrowed, and winning a gold medal was not as easy as before.
Pencak Silat martial artists compete for 16 medal sets, including 11 men’s and five women’s in both seni (performance) and tanding (combat) events on May 10-16.
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