Vietnamese muay fighters enter world championships’ semis hinh anh 1Muaythai fighter Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat of Vietnam celebrates his world championship title last year (Photo: File photo)

 Hanoi (VNA) - Two Vietnamese athletes booked their berths in the May 11 semi-finals of the ongoing International Federation of Muaythai Amateur World Championships in Minsk, Belarus.

Six-time world champion Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat defeated Anass Hibaoui of Morocco in the round of last eight in the men’s U60kg category.

The defending champion will fight Artsem Vinnik of the host nation, who won against Yerkanat Ospan of Kazakhstan, in the next round.

In 2016 in Sweden, Nhat overcame Mirbek Sartkalmokov of Kyrgyzstan in the final to bag his sixth consecutive title.

His teammate Le Duc Hoang also found a place in the semi-finals, beating Anton Govorukha of Russia in the men’s U48kg pool.

His next rival will be Yiu Tat Fai of Hong Kong (China), who won against Saad Makouar of Morocco in the last-eight round match.

Vietnam has sent seven representatives to Belarus, of whom three are women.

However after three days of competitions, only Nhat and Hoang have advanced to the semi-final rounds.

Coach Giap Trung Thang said the tournament was a key event that would help Vietnamese athletes warm up for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia in August.

Athletes also collect points from this competition, which could help them qualify for the World Games in Poland in July. The coach hoped his fighters would win at least one gold medal in Minsk.

The championships, in the 16th year, kicked off on May 5, and will end on May 12. -VNA