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Wushu Martial Artists Earn Vietnam's First Gold Medals at SEA Games 2017

Vietnam’s delegation at this year’s SEA Games competition is off to a good start after wushu martial artists clinched the country’s first two gold medals late last week.

On August 20, 24-year-old wushu athlete Duong Thuy Vi managed to earn Vietnam’s first gold medal at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games after she edged out Malaysian representative Eyin Phoon, reports Saigon Giai Phong.

Vi’s performance at the Jianshu (double-edged sword) event received a score of 9.67 points, while her competitors from Malaysia and Singapore achieved 9.63 and 9.60, respectively.

On the same day, wushu athlete Hoang Thi Phuong Giang clinched another gold for Vietnam during the Gun Shu (wooden cudgel) event, scoring 9.64 for her performance.

According to Zing, Vi and Giang’s wins were a huge relief for Vietnam’s national team at the regional sports tournament, as by that point five countries hadn't won a gold yet. Malaysia, taking full use of its home advantage, has already amassed seven golds, while Singapore and Thailand have bagged three each.

Duong Thuy Vi's winning performance at SEA Games 2017. Video via YouTube user VTC THE THAO.

Vi previously brought home Vietnam’s first Jianshu gold medal at the 2013 SEA Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, as well as at ASIAD 2014 in Incheon, South Korea. Her medal was the only gold for the country during the entire pan-Asian event.

Vi’s coaching team told the news source that the seemingly miniscule 0.04 point difference was actually “not that simple” to achieve as Malaysia’s representative was also gunning for the gold.

Born in 1993, Duong Thuy Vi had a weak physique as a child, so her family suggested she take up martial arts as a way to improve her fitness and health. Both Vi’s parents are martial artists.

Tuoi Tre also reports that during her Qiang Shu (spear) event this morning, August 21, Vi won another gold medal, Vietnam’s fifth at the time of writing.

Vietnam’s athletes have done well in international competitions recently, as Tuoi Tre reports in a separate article that last Friday notable chess player Le Quang Liem beat Russian-Croatian legend Garry Kasparov in a blitz chess game during the 2017 Chess Tour in the US.

Kasparov is currently ranked 1st by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (World Chess Federation), while Liem is ranked 23rd.

[Top photo via Zing]

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