Vietnam’s male fencing team is expected to win first gold medal for the national sports delegation at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore on June 3 when hopefuls Nguyen Tien Nhat and Nguyen Phuoc Den compete.

The fencing competition will begin on June 3 and consist of three events: men’s individual epee, men’s individual sabre, and women’s individual foil.

Nhat, who has won a number of fencing gold medals at regional tournaments, is primed to win the first gold medal for the men’s team at the games.

Four years ago in Palembang, Indonesia, he only brought home a bronze.

Besides Nhat and Den, Nguyen Thi Le Dung and Tran Thi Len, both gold medallists in Indonesia, and young hopefuls Do Thi Anh, Nguyen Minh Quang and Bui Thi Thu Ha will look to bring home medals for Vietnam.

The squad of 24 fencers will compete in all 12 individual and team events and aims to win five gold medals to place among the top countries at the Games.

According to Phung Le Quang, Head of the fencing division under the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, the team is hoping for four or five gold medals to place among the top countries in fencing at the games.

Quang said the goal is realistic but expects Vietnamese players to face stern competition from Thailand, Indonesia and the host country, Singapore.

At the 26th SEA Games 2011 in Indonesia, Vietnam ranked first in the fencing competition with five gold medals, four silvers and three bronzes. All five gold medals come from female fencers.

However, Quang said many of the male fencers are performing.-VNA