After a successful year, swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien is dreaming of a place in the final at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.

The Year of the Horse saw Vietnam's swimmers achieve new heights in general, and by Vien in particular.

The two Asian Games bronze medals won by the Can Tho Province-born swimmer were Vietnam's first ever at the Games.

Earlier, she pocketed a gold medal at the second Youth Olympics in China, before setting seven records at the ASEAN Swimming Championships. Vien also dominated the national tournament with 18 titles and 14 records.

The 18-year-old has been voted the best athlete of the year for the second time in a row.

Vien has no time to celebrate the Lunar New Year, as she is training hard in the United States for further achievements.

"Training plays a key role in every athlete's performance during competitions, but there are also other elements that affect it. Any mistake can lead to failure," said Vien.

"My target this year and in the years to come is to increase my speed and compete well in any tournament. I hope to enter the final of a swimming event at the Olympics," she said.

Vien is now working with Anthony Teeters, who guided Ryan Lochte to achieve success, and has learned a lot from him.

"I know how to manage my body and thoughts when I feel tired. It is the moment to try harder, to beat myself to get the best result.

"I set a new target when I am down. I always try hard and do my job best, ignoring everything on the sidelines," said Vien, who does not have an email or Facebook account as well as a mobile phone.

Vien has earned a berth to compete in the women's 400m medley and 200m backstroke events at Rio de Janeiro next year.

The Vietnamese took part at the London Olympics too, but failed to make it to the top eight.-VNA