HA NOI — Nguyen Thi Anh Vien is the second Vietnamese swimmer to pass the Olympic B standard, which might allow her to take part in the London Games this summer.
|Breathtaking: Nguyen Thi Anh Vien passed the Olympic B standard in the women's 200m backstroke at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in the US on the weeked. — File Photo
Vien, who turns 16 in November, claimed the achievement at the USA Swimming Series' Indianapolis Grand Prix after clocking a time of 2min 15.15sec in the women's 200m backstroke event on the weekend.
The result, 0.27secs better than the B standard, made Vien the first female swimmer and the youngest athlete from Viet Nam to reach the Olympic level.
The junior has grown up quickly after three months training in the US. Her best result at home has since been 2:18.43, which brought her a gold medal at the National Championships last year.
According to Dinh Viet Hung, general secretary of Viet Nam Association of Aquatic Sports, Vien would get much better results in the future, including the A standard of 2:10.84.
He further said that although the A standard [2:10.84] was difficult there would be a clear chance for her to compete in London.
"She still lacks international experience. If she has the chance to compete in big competitions such as the Olympics, I am sure she would pocket gold medals in the coming SEA Games [in Myanmar]," said coach Dang Anh Tuan, who has been training Vien from the first days.
"For years only male swimmers achieved high results at the SEA Games. Things might indeed be about to change however," said Lam Quang Thanh, deputy head of the National Sports and Physical Training Administration.
With her success, Vien ranks No 1 in the Southeast Asian region in her respective discipline. At the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia, she palmed two silvers in the 400m medley and 100m backstroke.
Da Nang City-based Hoang Quy Phuoc is currently the swimmer first in line for an Olympic men's 100m butterfly ticket. — VNS