VIENTIANE, May 19: Laos has received its first gold medal in vovinam at the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, Laotian Times reports.
Female vovinam athletes Mala Inthalacksa and Picksamai Insoumang bagged a gold medal for Laos at the vovinam dual sword form event on 19 May.
Vovinam is a Vietnamese full-contact martial art involving the use of the hands, elbows, legs, and knees as well the use of weaponry such as swords, knives, and claws.
Vovinam (short for Vo Viet Nam; literally meaning Vietnamese Martial Arts) was founded in 1938 by Nguyen Loc. It is based on traditional Vietnamese subjects and eclectic sources.
Vovinam involves the use of the hands, elbows, legs, knees and weapons such as swords, knives, chisels, claws, fans. Students also learn how to deal with hand-held weapons, counter-attacks, lock-ups, and levers.
Amongst Vietnamese martial arts, Vovinam is the largest and most developed in Vietnam with more than 60 schools around the world, including Poland, Belgium, Canada, Cambodia, Denmark, Germany, the United States, Morocco, Norway, Russia, France, Romania, Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Italy, Australia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Spain, Algeria, Taiwan, Greece.
Athletes from the Laos Vovinam Association were confident of a win after successfully competing at global vovinam events in the past.
Both athletes took home gold medals at the Third SEA Vovinam Championship 2014 in Myanmar.
Laos also secured one gold and five bronze medals from dancing events at the 4th SEAVF Southeast Asian Vovinam Championship 2017, hosted by Cambodia.