SEA Games 31: Vietnamese marathoners hope for golds hinh anh 1SEA Games 31: Vietnamese marathoners hope for golds (Photo:
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese marathoners are dreaming of reputable gold medals at the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31), that they failed to do when hosting the event 19 years ago.

Marathon is a sport that demonstrates the power of the will and the endurance to overcome challenges at sports events.

Vietnam’s marathon once ranked first at SEA Games with the gold medal by “barefoot queen" Pham Thi Binh at SEA Games 2013 in Myanmar. This is the only gold medal won by Vietnamese long-distance runners.

After Pham Thi Binh retired, the gold medal in this category seemed to "avoid” Vietnamese marathon runners.

At SEA Games 2015 in Singapore, Hoang Nguyen Thanh of Vietnam won a bronze medal at the men’s marathon category. 

Meanwhile, Hoang Thi Thanh did not achieve the set goal at SEA Games 2017 in Malaysia, only winning a silver medal. Two years later in the Philippines, Pham Thi Hong Le brought home a bronze medal.

Four marathoners representing Vietnam at SEA Games 31 include Hoang Nguyen Thanh, Pham Thi Hue, Hoang Thi Ngoc Hoa and Le Van Tuan. Notably, Thanh and Hue have been already familiar with the pressure of the SEA Games arena and stood on “the podium" for excellent athletes.

Born in 1995, Thanh was considered a great long-distance running talent of his native province of Binh Phuoc and Vietnam earlier in his career.

Thanh is known as the "'king of mountain” when consecutively winning the championship for many years at the National Ba Ra Mountain Climbing Tournament in Binh Phuoc.

At the National Marathon Tournament and the Tien Phong National Marathon Championship’s long-distance tournament in Pleiku city of the central province of Gia Lai last year, he won the championship with a time of 02:26:56. This achievement not only helps Thanh confirm his position in the national marathon team but also shows his ability to compete for a men's marathon medal with Southeast Asian opponents.

While Thanh has a knack for marathon, Hue is the "queen" on the 5,000m and 10,000m races. Also in the year Thanh won the rare men's marathon medal at SEA Games, Hue brought a silver medal in the 10,000m category for the first time attending the regional games. At the next two events in Malaysia and the Philippines, Hue brought home three more silvers and one gold.

In a tournament to select runners for SEA Games 31 in Hanoi in early March, Pham Thi Hue finished second with 2:55:52. Most recently, Hue continued to show progress when improving her performance in a marathon competition in Hue with 2:50:33, better than the achievement of Christine Hallasgo of the Philippines - the gold medalist at SEA Games 30’s women's marathon event.

Along with Thanh, Hoa also confirmed herself as the No.1 female marathon runner in Vietnam at the 2022 Tien Phong Marathon in Con Dao of the southern province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau. She topped the rank with 2:53:56. Recently, Hoa has not competed in many marathon tournaments to focus all on the "big battle" of SEA Games 31.

Meanwhile, Tuan convincingly won the championship at the tournament to select athletes for SEA Games 31 with 2:27:41.

Tuan proved his passion and spirit of dedication when he surpassed many young opponents to win a ticket to SEA Games 31.

"I think all athletes wish to dedicate themselves both mentally and physically to the national sports in particular and the country in general”, Tuan said ahead of SEA Games 31.

With the presence of four experienced runners, Vietnam have a basis to dream of gold medals right at home, which they could not do 19 years ago when hosting SEA Games 22./.