Lao pencak silat team will test their skills in Vietnam

Posted by samakomlao Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lao pencak silat team will test their skills against Vietnamese opponents when they train in Hanoi , Vietnam , from June to November.

The training camp in Vientiane will be the site of a selection process by Vietnamese coach Nguyen Huy Dong and trainer Thongkhoun Khamsysavathdy, who will choose an 11 member squad to compete in the 25th SEA Games in Vientiane in December.

The team will have the opportunity to compete in the 3rd Asian Indoor Games in Hanoi in August.

The training camp and match experience in Vietnam will assist the Lao athletes in their preparations for the SEA Games.

Vice President of the Lao Pencak Silat Federation, Mr Khamphoui Bounyalith, said the team is ready to continue their training in Hanoi after training at the National Sports Training Centre in Sikeuth village, Naxaithong district, since April.

Mr Khamphoui said the squad are all committed to training hard and improving in the hope of winning medals when their home nation hosts the games.

The Lao National Sports Committee is financing the Lao team's travel to the training camp in Vietnam , while the Vietnamese government is providing in-camp support for the squad.

Mr Nguyen arrived in Vientiane last February and has been coaching the national team ever since, initially at the national camp and then the national training centre.

Mr Nguyen led the Vietnamese team to success in the 20th SEA Games in Brunei in 1999, 21st SEA Games in Malaysia in 2001 and the 22nd SEA Games in Vietnam in 2003, as well as other international tournaments.

The Lao team was coached by an Indonesian trainer for the last SEA Games in Thailand where they won a bronze medal.

A bronze medallist in the men's 60kg category of the pencak silat at those games, Mr Olane Sihalath, is hopeful of winning a medal at this year's games.

Pencak silat events at the games will comprise tanding (fighting style) in the men's 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 and over 80kg categories and women's 50, 55, 60 and 65kg categories. There will also be contests in seni (dancing style), tunggan (singles) and ganda (doubles) for men and women with no weight divisions.

The Lao team took bronze at the 18th SEA Games in Thailand in 1995 and at the 19th SEA Games in Indonesia in 1997.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong

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