Taekwondo martial artists have high hopes of winning medals at the Olympics after intensive training in the Republic of Korea .

"Now I believe Viet Nam can win a medal," said coach Ho Anh Tuan, when returning home after two months of training abroad.

Two Vietnamese martial art Olympians are offered a chance to train at the Kyung Hee University , one of four best taekwondo centres in the country, where they followed a standard programme applied for South Korean national team members of the RoK.

"It was a challenge for our athletes. They are asked to undertake a great deal of exercise at an intense level. Meanwhile, the training discipline in the RoK is very strict, every athlete who did not complete their exercises will be punished," said Tuan.

RoK trainers also focused on improving the Vietnamese competitors' physical strength, which is their greatest weakness. Apart from training indoors, they are asked to take part in running on a mountain track every day.

They also had the chance to watch world leading the RoK athletes with a view to size up the challenges ahead in London .

"Before the course I considered the Olympics a high mountain. Now watching their improvement I think that they have a chance to be in the top three although it will also partly depend on the result of the draw," said Tuan.

"Obviously, winning a medal at the Olympics is very difficult and sometimes we also need luck to make it. But our athletes' skills have been improved a lot after these two months."

RoK coach Nam Won-kang was also confident of the Vietnamese athletes after seeing their mastery of martial arts techniques.

The athletes, Le Huynh Chau and Chu Hoang Dieu Linh, lef for France on July 26 for more intensive training ahead of the London Olympics, which will kick off on July 27.

They will practise together with the French team in Calais City , which has a similar climate and time zone to London .

At the Olympics, the taekwondo team is said to be Vietvam's second medal favourite following the weightlifting squad.

The team will move to London on August 5. Taekwondo events will start three days later at the ExCel Centre.

The fighters are promised a reward of 50,000 USD for a gold, 30,000 USD for a silver and 20,000 USD for a bronze, which are of the biggest bonuses ever for Vietnamese Olympic participants.-VNA