Vietnam’s Truong Thi Kim Tuyen put up an impressive show to beat defending champion Daniela Souza in the last 16 of the 2023 World Taekwondo Championships.
In the women’s 49 kg category on Wednesday Tuyen began the bout with composure and scored with two accurate kicks to Souza’s head in the first round to jump into a 7-3 lead.
It helped her become more confident in the second round, in which she maintained a safe distance and waited for the Mexican to make errors.
Tuyen scored a kick to Souza’s head to win the second round 6-5 and clinch the match 2-0.
Souza, 23, won the 2022 World Taekwondo Championship and dominated the Americas Taekwondo Championship in 2021 and 2022.
Tuyen, 26, is Vietnam’s top taekwondo fighter in the 46 kg and 49 kg categories. In the former, she was the silver medalist in the 2017 World Taekwondo Championship, the Asian champion in 2018, and gold medal winner in the 2015 and 2022 SEA Games.
In the 49 kg category, she finished second in the 2017 World Taekwondo Grand Prix and won the 2021 Asian championship and the 2023 SEA Games silver medal.
The World Taekwondo Championships are being held between May 29 and June 4 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Vietnam have entered a five-member squad.