Six Vietnamese fencers will be competing for a 2024 Olympic ticket at the Olympic Asian Qualifying Championship on April 27-28 in the UAE.
|Vũ Thành An of Việt Nam (left) seen at the 32nd SEA Games last May in Cambodia. He will take part in the Olympic Asian Qualifying Championship in April in the UAE. VNA/
HÀ NỘI Vietnamese fencers will seek their 2024 Olympic tickets at the Asian Qualifying Championship in April in the UAE.
Fencing did make a big bang with four athletes qualified for the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, but the team failed to take part in the next games in Tokyo in 2021.
Due to injuries and financial shortage, Vietnamese fencers did not have the chance to compete in 2023 to collect points for their Olympic campaign.
This Asian zonal event will be the last opportunity for them to reach Paris this summer.
Athletes who have already qualified for the Olympics will not take part in this event, and only the winner of the zonal championship will qualify for the Games.
The national team players have practised intensively since the first day of the year in both Hà Nội and HCM City.
A team of the six best fencers will leave for the Dubai event and compete on April 27-28.
Among them veteran Vũ Thành An in men’s sabre and Nguyễn Tiến Nhật in men’s epee are expected to make the mission.
Nhật was the first Vietnamese fencer to earn an Olympic place in history, in 2012. He has been one of the best fencers in the region with many titles from the SEA Games and ASEAN championships.
The 33-year-old Nhật is currently No 136 in the world and No 32 in his category. He took one gold and one bronze at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia last May.
|Nguyễn Tiến Nhật of Việt Nam (left) will compete in the men’s epee at the Olympic Asian Qualifying Championship in April in the UAE. — VNA/
An, meanwhile, made his name internationally by winning two bronzes in Asian championships. He finished in the top 15 at the Rio Olympics, the best result of Việt Nam in this competition.
At the Cambodia event, the 32-year-old won one gold and one silver, making him a big dominator at the regional biennial sporting event with eight titles in both individuals and team categories in five SEA Games editions in a row.
He is currently No 117 in the world and No 37 in Asia.
According to the coaching board, many strong athletes from South Korea, Japan and China would not come to Dubai as they have already qualified. This reduces the pressure on the Vietnamese competitors.
An will be the best hope of Việt Nam, and he is also determined to have his second time in the Olympics.
“It is really a difficult competition as only the winner can take the Olympic place,” An told Việt Nam News.
“In Dubai, I will have to play six five-point and four 15-point matches to take gold. If I can perform my best, I am confident of winning,” he said.