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Vietnamese taekwondo fighter sparks Olympic hopes with two int’l gold medals

Vietnamese taekwondo star Truong Thi Kim Tuyen has moved closer to securing a place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after clinching two successive international gold medals in the women’s under-49kg category in recent days.

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The former world runner-up edged past her Russian opponent, Galina Madvedeva, with a narrow score of 16-15 at the Serbia Open 2019 on October 27 to claim the title in a nail-biting fashion.

En route to the final match, Kim Tuyen blasted resounding wins over Suehada Gueler (Germany, 34-11), Vanesa Markova (Belarus, 19-5) and Arina Puchko (Russia, 13-6).

Earlier, at the Greece Open 2019 on October 20, the no. 1 Vietnamese taekwondo artist had also been convincing in her triumph, defeating host fighter Anthoula Sinani with a score of 24-22 in the title decider.

Kim Tuyen is among the Vietnamese athletes who receive focused investment towards booking a direct ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In the latest World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) rankings, Tuyen ranks seventh in the women’s under-49kg division with 223.87 points, 50 points short of the Olympic berth (fifth place).

The aforementioned gold medals will add 20 points to Kim Tuyen’s world ranking, allowing her to continue fostering the dream of bringing Vietnamese taekwondo back to the Olympic arena in Tokyo next summer. There are two months remaining for the Vietnamese athlete to realise the goal within.

Vietnamese taekwondo has won just one Olympic medal thus far, thanks to Tran Hieu Ngan’s silver in Sydney 19 years ago.

Nhan Dan

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