Vietnam aims for marathon’s gold medal at SEA Games 31 hinh anh 1Hoang Thi Ngoc Hoa is currently one of the leading marathon runners of Vietnam. (Photo: Organising Committee)

Hanoi - Marathon - a long-distance foot race with a distance of 42.195 km – is among important events at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), with Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand being regional powerhouses.

Vietnam triumphed at track and field in various editions of SEA Games. However, marathon is not viewed as a ‘gold mine’ for Vietnamese runners like sprints or middle-distance races.
Pham Thi Binh brought home a gold medal in the women’s marathon at the Games in Myanmar in 2013. Hoang Thi Thanh bagged a silver in Malaysia four years later, before Pham Thi Hong Le clinched a bronze in the Philippines in 2019.
Nguyen Chi Dong is the Vietnamese runner with the best result in the men’s marathon, winning a silver medal at the Games in 2003. Hoang Nguyen Thanh obtained bronze at the 2015 edition in Singapore.
Despite difficulties in the selection of marathon runners, Vietnam pins high hope on the event during the SEA Games 31, as the regional tournament will take place in May on home soil.
As Hong Le is set to compete at the 10,000m event in which she is the national record holder, her juniors Hoang Thi Ngoc Hoa from the southern province of Binh Phuoc and Pham Thi Hue from Quang Ninh northern province will represent Vietnam in the women's marathon race at this year’s SEA Games.
Hoa is deemed the No.1 female marathon runner of Vietnam at present. She is the reigning champion of the Tien Phong Marathon national championship 2022 held in Con Dao, Ba Ria - Vung Tau late March, clocking 2:53:56.
Hue was the gold medallist of the women’s 10,000m at the 30th SEA Games. She was handpicked by coach Tran Van Sy and has fully prepared for the competition.
On April 10, she clocked 2:50:33 at a tournament in the central province of Thua Thien - Hue, a result better than that of 2:56:56 by Philippine marathon runner Christine Hallasgo who won gold at the previous SEA Games.
Meanwhile, Hoang Nguyen Thanh and Le Van Tuan will represent Vietnam at the men’s marathon. Thanh, born in 1995, has resumed training with a team of Binh Phuoc province since August 2019. He bagged various prizes at the Pocari Sweat Run, the Can Tho Heritage Marathon and the Techcombank HCM City Marathon 2019, with a personal record of 2:29:29.

In 2020, Thanh triumphed at the Tien Phong Marathon 2020 national championship in Ly Son and Pocari Sweat Run 2020 in HCM City.

Tuan is a prominent runner as he also won numerous domestic tournaments.
Track-and-field competitions at the SEA Games 31 will take place from May 14-19 at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, comprising 47 events. Marathon is scheduled for the last day (May 19). At the SEA Games 31, Vietnam will allow nearly 300 amateur runners to run alongside competitors for the first time ever.
SEA Games 31 will run in Hanoi and 11 neighbouring localities from May 12 to 23, featuring 40 sports with 526 events. This will be the second edition of SEA Games hosted by Vietnam after the first one in 2003./.

Organising Committee