Laos’ kung fu Khamla bowing out at National Games

Experienced wushu fighter Mr Khamla Soukhaphone plans to retire from major competition following the 11th National Games in Xieng Khuang province from November 11-21.

Veteran wushu fighter Khamla Soukhaphone is set to square up one last time at this year’s National Games.

The National Games will be the last event for the veteran Chinese martial arts exponent after returning from the Asian Games in Indonesia. Unfortunately, Khamla was unable to secure a 60kg division medal in his last international competition.
The seasoned 31-year-old, with a wealth of national and international experience under his belt, is currently a Second Lieutenant in the Army sports division of the Ministry of National Defence.
Khamla will represent the ministry at the National Games and hopes to go out on top with a gold medal in the wushu fighting event before taking up a coaching role with the national team.
Lao Wushu Federation Secretary Mr SithaYathotou said “We would like Mr Khamla to coach the national team so he can help develop young fighters for the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines next year and the next Asian Games.” 
“The federation is also looking forward to seeing new wushu fighters emerge at the National Games,” he said.
The wushu federation has previously found it difficult to recruit young talent to the sport with many fighters preferring to try their hand at muay Lao before taking on the Chinese martial art.
Khamla is a case in point having trained in muay Lao for many years before switching to wushu.
Aside from Khamla’s wushu bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games, he has won gold at the 2016 Asian Beach Games in Vietnam, gold in the men’s 56kg fighting event at the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar and competed at an international wushu championship in China.
He won muay Lao gold at the 2005 National Games in Savannakhet province and bronze in the same event at the 2008 National Games in Champassak province to go with wushu gold at the 2011 National Games in Luang Prabang province and the 2014 National Games in Oudomxay province.

By Sangkhomsay Bubphanouvong
(Latest Update September 7, 2018)

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