Lao Judo fighters strike out for gold in 25th SEA Games

Posted by samakomlao Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lao judo fighters will have a clearer idea of their gold medal chances at the 25th SEA Games in December after they compete in several upcoming international and national events.

The Lao Judo Federation plans to send judo fighters from different divisions to compete in six tournaments.

First, a team will compete at the 18th Vietnam International Judo Tournament in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam , from July 2-5.

Trainer assistant Mr Chittivet Nuankhaisy said he thought the team had a chance of winning a medal at this event.

A team will also compete in the Thailand International Judo Bangkok Championship from July 23-26 and the Asian Martial Art Games in Bangkok in early August.

Next, they will take part in the South East Asian Judo Championships, to be held at Lao-ITECC in Vientiane from August 6-7.

The team's next stop is the U-18 Asian Judo Championships in Japan from August 23-30. Next on the list is a national judo event at the Lao-Japan Budo Centre in Vientiane .

The federation will select the top fighters in various categories after witnessing their performance at these tournaments. Those selected will compete at the SEA Games.

Six males and five females will compete at the 18th Vietnam International Judo Tournament this week. Senior trainer Mashatoshi Kikuchi and the team travel to Vietnam today.

The six men are Varisa Sinthouboua (55kg), Olot Sasengboung (60kg), Santisouk Oupaxay (66kg), Chittakon Xayasan (73kg), Khanty Sithivong (100kg) and Sengsouly Manivong (over 100kg).

The five women are Mayouly Phanouvong (45kg), Kesone Ouanvilay (48kg), Phetnida Syamphone (52kg), Chipchinda Bounhphaaksone (57kg) and Chidavone Bouttavong (63kg).

The top two fighters in Laos this year are Varisa, 17, and Chittakon, 18. The made the national team for the SEA Games after winning medals at the eighth National Games in Champassak province.

This will be their first time at the tournament in Vietnam . They estimate their chances of success at 50 percent because they have never competed at the international level.

Vasira won a gold medal in the men's U-17 55kg category at the 13th Thai Championships in Khon Kaen province in April and a gold medal at last year's National Games.

He lives in Phonthan village, Xaysettha district, Vientiane , and is a first-year student at the Faculty of Engineering, National University of Laos.

Chittakon won a silver medal in the men's 73kg division at the Thai Championships and a bronze medal at the National Games. He lives in Phonthan village and is a graduate of Xaysettha district Secondary School.

After competing at the SEA Games, the two will probably go on to compete at the international level because they are still both young.

At last year's tournament in Vietnam , the Lao team won silver and bronze medals.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong

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