Truong Thi Kim Tuyen (right) at 2017 World Taekwondo Championships.
This is the first silver medal secured by Vietnamese taekwondo at the world championship arena. En route to the final match, Tuyen finished off Napaporn Charanawat of Thailand with the close score of 9 to 8 in a tense semifinal.
It was a nail-biting finish to the match after Tuyen’s opponent managed to reduce the score to 8 - 9 with only 10 seconds to go. During such a short period of time, the Vietnamese fighter managed to keep Charanawat from scoring any additional points despite being put under immense pressure.
Facing the South Korea’s rising star, Sim Jae-Young, in the decisive encounter, Tuyen was unable to produce a shock result and suffered a 9 to 18 defeat after three rounds of play. Two years ago, both Sim Jae-Young and Tuyen attended the world championships but failed to make the podium.
In early 2017, Tuyen was crowned the gold medalist of the 49kg category at the Southeast Asian championships and the Asian youth competition. Thanks to her outstanding performance so far this year, Tuyen promises to be one of the gold medal hopes of the Vietnam taekwondo team at the upcoming 29th SEA Games in Malaysia.
The World Taekwondo Championships have taken place every other year since 1973. Outside of the Olympics, they’re the most prestigious event for those who practice the sport — in fact, the seven days feature more competitors from a greater number of nations than does the four-day Olympic event.
Many talented athletes will make names for themselves at the championships this year, and their careers will be carefully followed by taekwondo enthusiasts as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics approach.
The 2017 World Taekwondo Championships is the 23rd edition of the World Taekwondo Championships, and is held in Muju, South Korea from June 24 to June 30, 2017.