The Vietnamese delegation has set a target of at least four gold medals for judo veterans (ranking in the top two) and is sending all “big names” to the forthcoming regional sports festival in Myanmar next month. Report by Communist Party of Vietnam's online newspaper.

Vietnam’s judo has shown good preparations in the last several months with athletes participating in international competition and training tours, as well as spending money for coaches to train abroad. At this time, the national women's judo squad is training in China and will return to the homeland on November 30.

Head coach of the national judo squad Le Duy Hai said that the gap between Vietnam and its rival is now narrow. So, there will be very strong race among top squads in the upcoming matches.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Huu An, head of the judo section under the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, shared the news that the host country Myanmar has poured a lot of money and time into its judo team, thus creating challenges for Vietnam and other nations.

At this year’s SEA Games, judo will be a “marathon event” for Vietnam as it is competing in 18 medal categories from December 18-21.

With regard to force, Vietnam has high expectations on “Judo Queen” Van Ngoc Tu, besides four athletes who bagged gold medals at the previous SEA Games 2011.

She is now mobilising all her energy for important battles. This is the 5th SEA Games in which the Olympic athlete of London 2012 has participated.

The national judo squad also welcomes the return of female athlete Nguyen Thi Nhu Y who used to create a lot of “unpleasant swings” for rivals.

In the kata event, there is a hope for Vietnam to pocket gold. Female judokas Nguyen Hoang Cam Ha and Le Ngoc Van Anh attended a training course in Japan from November 14-24.

Meanwhile, male judokas Nguyen Thanh Tai and Nguyen Ngoc Son will depart for South Korea for training from December 1-8. They won gold with “Nage nokata” performance at SEA Games 25-2009.

Judo ("gentle way") is a modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the objective is to either throw or takedown an opponent to the ground, immobilise or otherwise subdue an opponent with a pin, or force an opponent to submit with a joint lock or a choke.

Strikes and thrusts by hands and feet as well as weapons defence moves are part of judo, but only in pre-arranged forms (kata) and are not allowed in judo competition or free practice (randori).-VNA