Sunday, 04/02/2024 14:00

Tâm, Quỳnh carry Việt Nam’s Olympic hopes in boxing


Nguyễn Thị Tâm (left) is Việt Nam's first Olympic boxer. She targets a second turn at the Games in Paris this summer. Photo of IBA

HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thị Tâm is expected to make her second Olympic appearance while Lưu Diễm Quỳnh hopes to make her debut at the largest global sporting event this summer.

Việt Nam's two highest potential boxers will seek their places at a World Qualification Tournament held from February 29-March 12 in Busto Arzizio, Italy.

Tâm was the first female Vietnamese boxer to qualify for the Olympics at the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Competing in the women's 50kg class, Tâm has been Việt Nam's most experienced international fighter, a remarkable achievement to bring home.

In 2023, Tâm made a big bang when she took silver at the world championship. Unfortunately, she did not qualify for the Olympics as the event was not recognised as a qualification.

"Tâm is training hard with highest determination for the Italian event," said head coach Nguyễn Như Cường.

"She is in her peak currently and confident with her preparation. However, we are working with high alert because it is the world qualifier which will gather all the strongest competitors. It will not be easy to secure a place."

While Tâm is a famous veteran, Quỳnh is a rising star of the national team after she won bronze at the 19th Asian Games last October in China.

Lưu Diễm Quỳnh (left) seen boxing at the 19th Asian Games last October. She is one of six Vietnamese athletes to compete for Olympic places later this month in Italy. VNS Photo Quý Lượng

Quỳnh did not receive much attention until the Hangzhou Games, where she took the only medal for Việt Nam boxing.

Other fighters of Việt Nam are 2023 SEA Games champion Hà Thị Linh in the women's 60kg; 2022 Thailand Open winner Võ Thị Kim Ánh in the women's 54kg; and 2023 world championship participant Nguyễn Thị Thanh Hảo in the women's 57kg.

After Italy, athletes will have their last chance at the second World Qualification Tournament from May 23-June 3 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Athletes are training in Hà Nội under the support of Thai expert Tawan Mungphingklang who came back to Việt Nam in late 2023.

In his eight years working in Hà Nội from 2013, he helped Vietnamese boxing gain 2019 world championship bronze, 2017 Asian championship gold and a 2020 Olympic spot, along with golds at the 2015 and 2019 SEA Games.

“We have set specific goals for the qualifiers. Athletes are practicing hard under best conditions and their coaches make daily reports to us. It is all to help them get ready and have good results at the upcoming competitions," said Đàm Công Điền of the Sports Authority of Việt Nam's Boxing Department.

As many as 50 athletes will qualify through the Italian tournament, including 22 women and 28 men. 

Between 45 and 51 athletes (20-23 women and 25-28 men) will qualify through the Thai event.

At Paris 2024, a total of 248 boxers will compete, including 124 women and 124 men. Boxing competition will take between 27 July and 10 August in the Roland-Garros Stadium and the North Paris Arena. VNS

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