Huyen wins gold at Asian athletics competition, breaks SEA Games record

15:25 | 12/07/2017 Sports

Vietnam athlete Nguyen Thi Huyen won another gold medal for her team at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, which concluded in Bhubaneswar, India, on July 9.

Nguyen Thi Huyen (C) on the podium at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships on July 8 - Photo courtesy to the organisers

Huyen finished first in the women's 400 metres hurdles final on July 8, in a record time of 56.14 seconds, breaking her own record set at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

In the qualifying round, Huyen took the lead with 57.34 seconds, to win the right to progress to the finals. Based on the qualifying results, as well as the other competitors’ rating, experts predicted a victory for the Vietnamese athlete before the opening of the finals.

Despite the final run having problems from the audience as they screamed in an attempt to force a re-start, Huyen retained her confidence on the run. Born in 1993 she quickly rose to the lead as she overcame strong rivals from India, Kazakhstan and Japan to finish first.

With a time of 56.14 seconds, Huyen bagged Vietnam’s second gold at the regional championships this year. She surpassed second placed runner Anu from hosts India by 1.08 seconds (57.22 seconds).

The achievement also saw Huyen break the national record of women's 400m hurdles, as well as the record she made at the 28th SEA Games in Singapore in 2015 with 56.15 seconds. Her impressive results have raised the hopes that she will win medals at the 400m hurdles at the upcoming 29th SEA Games in Malaysia next month.

The gold medal at 2017 Asian Championships is also an important landmark in marking the return of Huyen as one of the best Vietnamese athletes.

Returning after her success at SEA Games two years ago, she lost her form and later was dismissed from the list of athletes with key investment of the Vietnamese sports. Since then, the Nam Dinh native has been actively practicing to perform to the best of her ability. Recently, in the Singapore open tournament, she won gold medal with 56.66 seconds.

Yesterday, on the last day of the championships, Vietnamese athletes competed in the women's 4x400m relay finals with the strongest teams, including Nguyen Thi Huyen, Quach Thi Lan, Hoang Thi Ngoc and Nguyen Thi Oanh. Trio Huyen – Lan – Oanh helped Vietnam win the gold medal at the 28th SEA Games.

The team tried their best to win another silver medal for Vietnam, reaching the line after 3:33.22, ranked second behind hosts India with 3:31.34.

Vietnamese athletes finished the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships with a total of two gold and two silver medals, ranking fifth place on the medal tally. The tournament is the last major international event for Vietnamese athletics, before attending the 29th SEA Games in Malaysia.

Theo NDO