16:39 | 22/09/2017 Sports
Truong Thi Kim Tuyen will be Vietnam’s sole representative competing at the 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Prix to be held in Rabat, Morocco on September 22-24.
|Truong Thi Kim Tuyen (right) during competition at the World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea in June|
The 20-year-old martial artist will compete in the women’s U49kg category against 32 rivals from around the world. She is now ranked world No 26.
A maximum of 32 athletes are invited in each of the eight Olympic weight categories of the event. There can be no more than two athletes from each country in each category. However, host Morocco is allowed one extra athlete.
“I will make every effort in each match to win a medal,” Tuyen said.
Coach Vu Anh Tuan will accompany her to the event.
Tuyen, who was born in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long, pocketed a silver medal at the Muju WTF World Taekwondo Championships in the Republic of Korea in June.
The victory marked the first time Vietnam has won a silver medal in taekwondo, previously having won five bronzes over the past 22 years — two at the world tournament in 1995, and one each in 1999, 2005 and 2011.
However, in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Malaysia last month, Tuyen failed to defend her title in the women’s 46kg categoty. She only managed to take home a silver medal.
According to Tuyen, the loss has pushed her to try harder at the upcoming international event.
Vu Xuan Thanh, head of the taekwondo section of the National Sports Administration, said that after the SEA Games, Tuyen trained very hard to prepare for the Morocco event, which is the second Grand Prix of the year, where she will compete for Olympic ranking points and sporting glory.
The victor in each category wins 5,000 USD in prize money; the silver medalist gets 3,000 USD; and the two bronze medalists go home with 1,000 USD each.
The third Grand Prix of 2017 will be held in London, Great Britain, from October 20-22 one day after the seventh World Para-Taekwondo Championship takes place, also in London.