The first international Vietnamese traditional martial arts championship closed in Hanoi on August 11 after three days of competitions.

The Vietnamese team outperformed 29 foreign countries to claim the first place at the event with 41 gold, 36 silver and 77 bronze medals, followed by Russia and Belarus.

The Vietnamese team gathered athletes from 13 cities, provinces and units nationwide, including Hanoi capital city; Bac Ninh, Hung Yen and Hai Duong provinces in the north; the central provinces of Binh Dinh and Khanh Hoa; and An Giang, Binh Duong and Dong Nai in the south.

The international teams hailed from the US, Australia, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, India, Myanmar and Laos.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, General Secretary of the World Federation of Vietnam Traditional Martial Arts Nguyen Manh Hung said the championship, the largest of its kind, is intended to preserve and promote traditional culture, patriotism and sportsmanship of Vietnam.

Through the event, the organisation board aimed to introduce Vietnamese traditional martial arts to international friends, he said.

The event was co-organised by the Vietnam Olympic Committee, the Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam Traditional Martial Art Federation.

As an example of national heritage, Vietnamese traditional martial arts have developed throughout the process of national construction and defence.

They are highly popular among Vietnamese people as a way to stay physically healthy and mentally focused, and as a self-defence technique.-VNA