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The Vietnamese couple celebrate their Salsa gold medal.
Vietnamese bring saucy Salsa magic to Ashgabat 2017


25 Sep 2017
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, September 25, 2017: There was no stopping Vietnam’s Trung Kien Nguyen and Hong Anh Pham in the Salsa competition on the first day of DanceSport at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games on Monday. With her short, bleached blond hair, the 19-year-old Pham and her impish partner Nguyen dazzled the crowd and then the judges in winning the Salsa with 32.250 points. 

But they weren’t quite finished yet, and celebrated behind the scenes with – what else? – another little dance for the TV cameras. “We’re crazy,” said Pham. “Before I dance I feel nervous, but when the music starts I am happy and full of energy and emotion in my body. I don’t know where this comes from. It’s amazing,” she added.

What’s even more amazing is that Pham took up the Salsa only two months ago, although she has been with her dance partner Nguyen for seven years. “We heard that Salsa was in the DanceSport programme here, so my teacher in Hanoi said we should have a go. I learned to dance the Salsa because of this competition,” she said.

With her gold costume and shock of blond hair, together with the slicked-back style and sparkle of her 20-year-old partner, the Vietnamese couple entranced the packed stands with their saucy Salsa show, which was full of humour and intricate, high-speed moves.

Their performance was greeted with shouts of “Bravo” from the stands, as Pham blew kisses to the crowd and Nguyen clapped along with the spectators as they made their way back to the sofa to await their score. Had this been ice dancing, the rink would have been showered with flowers and fluffy toys.

Regarding her very un-Vietnamese hairstyle, the bubbly Pham added: “It used to be very long but I cut, cut, cut. “Everybody tells me they don’t like my hair - but it is me. It’s crazy. I like it.” The spectators liked every second of their Salsa as the Vietnamese set a tough points tally of 32.250 for the other three teams to chase.

Hong Kong, China came the closest, when Ng Sum Chun and Lam Wai Yi scored 31.166 to take silver. Turkmenistan edged out India for bronze through Aleksandr Sisekin and Waleriya Nepomnyassaya with 30.850.
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