Former European champion Maksim Ivansikovs has signed a contract to coach Vietnam's national karate's kumite team.

The Latvian coach will guide the team till the end of the year for a monthly salary of 4,000 USD.

Vu Son Ha, head of the karate department of the National Sports Administration, said: "We are satisfied with Ivancikov's background. He will train our players to prepare for the next SEA Games, and help us win a gold medal at the Asian Games."

This year, the karate fighters will participate in three different competitions, which are the ASEAN Championships next month in Laos, the Asian Championship in September in Japan and the world youth tournament in November in Indonesia.

Ivansikovs, 36, was introduced to Vietnam by the chairman of the Latvia Karate Federation. Previously, he worked in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

In another development, former world karate champion Nguyen Hoang Ngan will take charge of the women's kata (performance) team.

Ngan, who is training in Japan, will return home next month and start her new job.

The men team will be coached by Le Tien Nguyen.-VNA