Hang ready to step up a gear
Learning curve: Vietnamese runner Truong Thanh Hang is ready for a tough race against strong rivals at the Cottbus Track and Field Meeting in Brandenburg, Germany, today. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
HA NOI — Viet Nam's top middle-distance runner Truong Thanh Hang will compete against strong rivals at the Cottbus Track and Field Meeting in Brandenburg, Germany today.
The HCM City-born runner will meet international-level athletes in the women's 800m such as Jana Hartmann and Halima Hachlaf of Germany, Zahra Bouras of Algeria, Lucia Klocova and Lenka Masna of Russia, and Hasna Benhassi of Morocco.
Each of the top competitors typically clocks less than two minutes in the event while Hang's best time in this discipline is 2min 4.77sec.
German expert Uwe Freimuth, a consultant for the Viet Nam Athletics Federation and a member of its middle-distance runner's board, said this event would help Hang hone her skills and gain experience in preparation for the Asian and World Athletics Championships and boost her level for competition at the 2012 London Olympics.
Asian champion Hang won a gold medal in the women's 400m at the recent Borsig Track and Field Tournament in Germany. She has also been highly successful in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, where she won five gold medals from 2005 to 2009. She was a double silver medallist at the 16th Asian Games last year.
German experts said Hang had the potential to rank in the world's top ten female middle-distance runners if she could improve her physical strength and durability.
In the meantime, top Vietnamese sprinter Vu Thi Huong will return to Viet Nam to prepare for the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia this November.
Huong will not compete at the Asian Athletics Championship due to a muscle injury she sustained after winning a silver medal at the recent Borsig Athletics Tournament. — VNS