Vientiane is hopeful of claiming gold medals in taekwondo at the National Student Games in Savannakhet province on April 1-9 after selecting fighters at the Prime Minister's Office Cup last month.
After being selected, the taekwondo team, comprising fighters in various categories, is training at the Laos-Vietnam Secondary School. The squad includes some of the best young fighters in Laos and is staying at the school during their training camp.
The squad includes eight male fighters in the 40 and 43 to 59kg weight divisions, and eight females in the 43, 45, and 48 to 63kg divisions. The athletes study at Vientiane Secondary School, Sathit Secondary School and other schools in the capital.
At the student games, the Vientiane team will compete in the dancing event (poomsae), including men's and women's singles and doubles.
Vientiane taekwondo trainer Mr Bualaphon Lathakoun said teams from Champassak and host province Savannakhet are strong contenders for gold medals and have many talented fighters.
At the Prime Minister's Office Cup last month teams from Vientiane, and Vientiane, Xieng Khuang, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Savannakhet, Champassak, Luang Prabang and Bokeo provinces tested their skills.
Vientiane female fighter in the 49kg category, Ms Alisa Panyasily, is confident of winning a gold medal at the upcoming games. She has trained in taekwondo since she was in primary school. Currently she is in her fifth year at Vientiane Secondary School.
She lives in Phonsinuan village, Sisattanak district, and is just below national level standard. She said she will try her best at the games and believes fighters from Luang Prabang province pose a strong threat.
She won a gold medal at last month's tournament where she represented the Lanexang Taekwondo Club. In the future, she hopes to join the national team.
Vientiane male fighter in the 51kg weight division, Thibphakone Kuangmany, 18, is in his fifth year at Sathit Secondary School. He is one of the best fighters at the National University of Laos Taekwondo Club, where he has trained for five years.
This year will be the first time Thibphakone has competed in the student games and he has pledged to try his best to win a gold medal.
The Vientiane taekwondo team will travel to Savannakhet province on April 1 and compete at the games from April 6-7.
After the student games the Vientiane team will compete at the National Games to be hosted by Luang Prabang province in December.