|In training: Top swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc prepares for the Asian Indoor Games in South Korea in June. — Photo media.tinmoi.vn
DA NANG (VNS)— Top swimmer Hoang Quy Phuoc is warming up for the Asian Indoor Games in South Korea in June – a crucial test before competing in the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar later this year, and the Incheon Asian Games in 2014.
Phuoc, 20, is scheduled to compete in three tournaments every three months from now until the end of this year.
The Da Nang-born swimmer has been training with Australian coach Noel Bertwistle and local coach Nguyen Tan Quang since early this year to finetune his technique and work on his strength at the city's Tuyen Son Sports Centre ahead of this year's tough competitions.
"I have had to do a lot of hard training on my turns and starts in the swimming pool. It's what's preventing me from finishing in higher places in the Asian Championships, so I've needed to work most on these areas," Phuoc said after one of his training sessions. "I'm also trying to improve my strength in longer distance events like the 200m and 400m, but not so much for the 50m and 100m."
At the National Short-Course Swimming Championship in Hue City last month, Phuoc bagged 15 gold medals and broke six records. He performed best in the 200m individual medley, finishing with a record of two minutes 1.38 seconds, shaving nearly a second off his old record (2:02.50).
At the SEA Games 2011 in Indonesia, Phuoc set a milestone for Viet Nam swimming when he bagged a gold in the men's 100m butterfly and broke the SEA Games record of 53.82sec with a time of 53.07sec. It brought to an end a 49-year wait for a gold medal in the SEA Games for Viet Nam since Phan Huu Dong won the first gold in the SEA Games in 1961.
At the Southeast Asian Clubs Championship in HCM City four years ago, he grabbed eight golds.
Phuoc is seen as a prodigy for Viet Nam swimming with a big physical advantage over his competitors, boasting a 1.93m arm span.
The 20-year-old is set to compete in the national swimming championship in Ha Noi in September before competing in the SEA Games in Myanmar. — VNS