The Vietnam boxing team is gearing up for SEA Games 32 in Cambodia next month with the nation’s hopes pinned on Nguyen Thi Tam, who recently won silver at the World Boxing Championship.
The team will jet off for Thailand on April 16 for a three-week training camp ahead of the region’s biggest sports event.
“The training program in Thailand will help the Vietnamese boxers to have the best mentality before competing,” said Vu Duc Thinh, head of the boxing section of the National Sports Administration and general secretary of the Vietnamese Boxing Federation. “We want to have the best preparation for the regional event.”
The team consist of eight male and three female boxers, including stars Nguyen Thi Tam and Nguyen Van Duong.
At the Games 31 held in Vietnam last year, the Vietnamese boxing team won three gold medals thanks to Tam (51kg), Vuong Thi Vy (57kg), and Tran Thi Linh (60kg).
However, after analyzing their opponents this year, Vietnam has set a target of one gold medal at the Games 32, focusing on the ‘golden girl’ Tam.
Tam has just won a silver medal in the World Boxing Championship and is a double SEA Games champion. She will step up from 51 kg to fight in the 54 kg category this year.
Coach Nguyen Nhu Cuong said: “At the Games 32, boxing had 17 weight classes (12 for men and 5 for women), but the host country restricted the content of registration for the competition for other countries. Cambodia also dropped the 51 kg weight class that Am won gold medals in two consecutive SEA Games. Therefore, Tam will have to compete in the 54 kg class.”
Thinh said that increasing the weight class from 51 kg to 54 kg is challenging for Tam.
“Usually, boxers walk around at a weight above the class they will compete in. Tam has to do the reverse process to gain 4 kg. It greatly influences her because the opponents will have better physical strength and fighting power because they have been a long accumulation process.”
Tam is racing against time to train and adjust her diet to achieve the best weight and body shape, but the 29-year-old from Thai Binh Province isn’t lacking motivation.
“For me, competing in a new weight class is also an opportunity and motivation for me to try harder and perfect more in tactical techniques towards the goal of defending the SEA Games gold medal,” Tam said.
In addition to the goal of winning another SEA Games gold medal, Tam is also invested in bigger international tournaments.
“In addition to the regional Games, Tam also has a key investment for the Asian Games in September in China with the determination to win a ticket to the Paris Olympics 2024,” Thinh said.
“We plan to send Tam to a long-term training session in countries with developed boxing movements to realize the above important goal.”
Meanwhile, boxer Duong missed the SEA Games 31 as he was infected with Covid-19. After a year, he has trained thoroughly to return to show his true ability. He is also one of the hopes of medals of Vietnamese men’s boxing in Cambodia.
Both Duong and Tam attended the Tokyo Olympics in Japan in 2021.
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