Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 14:02:59

Athletics – the "gold mine" for Vietnam at SEA Games

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Vietnam will send up to 43 track-and-field athletes to the upcoming 27th SEA Games in Myanmar, aiming to obtain 10 to 12 gold medals from these sports. Report by Vietnam Net online newspaper.

Athletics has been one of the most important sports of Vietnam at the various SEA Games, even this time, when the athletics team does not have the strongest force. At the 26th SEA Games, athletics won the second highest number of gold medals, only after gymnastics (nine gold medals).

This year, because of injury, runner Truong Thanh Hang, who is called “Queen of Speed” of Southeast Asia will be absent from the games. Hang is now the top runner in the region for the women's 800- and 1,500-m categories. Hang will be replaced by Do Thi Thao, who won a silver medal at the previous games.

Another outstanding face of the athletics team is Vu Thi Huong. Huong used to be the top runner of the women’s 100m and 200m categories but due to injuries, Huong failed to protect her championships at the 26th SEA Games. This year, Huong showed great effort in practice and has achieved very positive parameters.

Huong’s coach Nguyen Dinh Minh said that this year Huong met some unexpected problems, such as trauma or an endoscopic surgery but her spirit is still strong.

"Earlier this year I registered two gold medals for women's 100m and 200m for Huong and that target does not change now. I will raise the intensity and try to help Huong achieve her best performance at the SEA Games later this year," the coach added.

Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Athletics Federation Nguyen Manh Hung said so far this year the best performance of the athletes in the region at the women’s 100-m category is about 11 seconds 76. Meanwhile, Huong’s best performance in practice is around 11 seconds 50.

At this year's SEA Games, Vu Van Huyen will not compete in the men’s pentathlon content but will participate in several single subjects. Huyen is expected to win a gold medal for men’s pole-vault.

While veterans face various problems, young athletes have made big progress.

At the Athletics Championships 2013, many experts said that female runner Nguyen Thi Oanh, from Hanoi, made a significant advancement. Oanh, 17, won three gold medals for women’s 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay and two gold medals for women’s 400m hurdle, 4x200m relay. Oanh will be one of the hopes of Vietnam’s track-and-field in the 27th SEA Games.

The most notable young athlete is Quach Thi Lan, 17, from Thanh Hoa province. In 2012, the Muong ethnic girl broke the national record for the women’s 400m hurdle, which had been maintained for 10 years. Lan’s achievement also exceeded the gold medal of the 26th Sea Games and nearly touched the Asian gold medal. Most recently, Lan won a gold medal in the Malaysia Open, which showed that she currently has very good performance.

The emergence of a young talent like Lan makes managers of the Vietnam Athletics Federation extremely excited because if Lan can maintain her form, she will surely win a gold medal at the 27th SEA Games. Experts also expect that Lan will shine at the 2019 Asian Games held in Vietnam.

In addition to the above athletes, Vietnam can lay hope on the familiar faces such as Hue Hoa, Viet Anh, Duong Van Thai, Thanh Phuc and Thanh Ngung, Nguyen Thi Thuy, Dao Xuan Cuong and Nguyen Thi Phuong.-VNA
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