Lao Taekwondo team sizes up ASEAN, SEA Games medal chances

Posted by samakomlao Thursday, June 4, 2009

The team will compete in standard fighting and poom sa (artistic style) events.

Lao fighters are rated a good chance in the standard fighting event, but there is less optimism regarding the artistic event, which is new for the team.

Nonetheless, both teams welcome the chance to improve their skills prior to the challenges presented this coming December.

The Lao Taekwondo Federation (LTF) is seeking to perfect the team's technique in preparation for the 25th SEA Games, to be held in Vientiane from December 9-18.

The federation sent five male fighters (54, 58, 62, 67 and 72kg division) and five female fighters (47, 51, 55, 63 and 67kg categories) for the fighting event.

Three male and two female fighters will compete in the men's team (three fighters), the mixed doubles, and men's and women's singles for the dance event.

LTF President Police Brigadier General Vilay Duangmany said fighters were training to build their skills and stamina and none lacked the courage required.

The Lao taekwondo team will continue training at the National Sports Training Centre in Sikeuth village, Naxaithong district, after returning from Vietnam .

Coach Chanthavong Panyasily said Lao fighters would compete in every weight category at this ninth championship in Vietnam , as they would in the SEA games.

At the Vietnam event, the team is led by coaches Mr Chanthavong and Mr Chang Kuk Park .

The federation will select fighters to train in the Republic of Korea from July to September.

The Lao team won one silver and five bronze medals at the 8th ASEAN Taekwondo Championship in Ho Chi Minh City in 2007.

The silver medalist in the men's 58kg category of the 8th championship, Phouthavong Outthasak, 22, has said he is ready for this year's championship.

Two male fighters, Phoutthasone Thammavong and Savatvilay Phimmasone, won gold and silver medals respectively at the Francophonie Taekwondo Competition in France last month, which involved athletes from more than 30 countries.

Mr Phoutthasone, 20, won a gold medal in the 58kg division and Mr Savatvilay won a silver medal in the 68kg division.

Both will compete in the men's 62kg and the men's 72kg divisions at the Vietnam championship.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong

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