Lao wrestlers confident of snatching medals

Posted by samakomlao Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Even though Lao wrestlers will be up against many experienced opponents at the SEA Games next month, the Lao Wrestling Federation is confident its teams will pick up medals.

The federation's Deputy Secretary General, Mr Manolom Phinith, said yesterday many of the federation's athletes have been training and competing abroad.

Members of the national team participated in a competition in Mongolia earlier this year and won three gold, two silver and one bronze medal between them.

“After training in Mongolia for about a month they participated in the competition and were very successful, much to the delight of their Mongolian coach. The national coach has remarked that Lao wrestling could do with more exposure of such successes,” he said.

The federation reported six Lao wrestlers just returned from Mongolia last month and there are a further 15 currently training in Vietnam who will return home in mid-November.

“We will select the best 13 wrestlers, including three women, for the SEA Games, after they have all returned from training abroad,” Mr Manolom said.

The federation was established in 2002 and first selected athletes from martial arts and body building to train in wrestling. The federation has sent athletes to compete at past SEA Games in Vietnam , the Philippines and Thailand .

“Our wrestlers won a bronze medal in Vietnam and the Philippines , and we also won two bronze medals at the 24th SEA Games in Thailand ,” he said.

Mr Manolom said Vietnam is a strong wrestling nation, but Lao wrestlers remain confident of success at their home games. “On behalf of the host nation, we believe our athletes will compete hard to win medals for their country.”

The wrestling event at the games will comprise freestyle and greco-roman events. In the freestyle category fighters are able to make contact with every part of the body, while in the greco-roman style contact is limited to above the waist.

The freestyle event will consist of 50, 55, 60, 66, 74, 84, 96 and 120kg weight divisions. The men's greco-roman event will be contested in eight weight categories ranging from 50 to 120kg.

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath

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