Binh wins landmark marathon
|Long distance: Marathon runner Pham Thi Binh crosses the finish line of the women's category while soldier Bui The Anh calebrates after wining the men's title at the Tien Phong Newspaper Cross-country and Marathon in Da Lat City yesterday. — VNS Photo Hoang Anh Vu
HA NOI (VNS) — SEA Games gold medallist Pham Thi Binh gave her rivals no chance to shine at the Tien Phong Newspaper Cross-country and Marathon in Da Lat City yesterday.
The 25-year-old had no difficulty winning the women's marathon event, which was organised for the first time in its 55-year history.
Binh from Quang Ngai Province finished 42km in eight laps around Xuan Huong Lake with a time of 2hr 54min 32sec to win her title.
The full marathon title is her first, though Binh won the gold medal in the 21km category during the two previous years.
"It is an easy competition for me, though the other runners are worthy rivals. I stay ahead from the beginning and run comfortably without any threat from them," said Binh, who ran on bare-feet.
"It is a friendly tournament, so I don't have to try hard to avoid injuries. My coach knows my ability, so he lets me run freely without setting any target for breaking a record," added Binh, who left her nearest rival 2km behind at the finish.
Hoang Thi Thanh of the Military came in second, with a time of 3:01.53, followed by Lam Thi Thuy from Binh Phuoc at 3:09.06.
On the men's side, soldier Bui The Anh won the title after running 2:30.52. It was his first-ever Tien Phong title, after several races.
Dinh Quang Phuong of Lam Dong and Tran Van Loi of Binh Phuoc were second and third, respectively.
A surprise occurred in the men's 10km race for professional athletes as Nguyen Dang Duc Bao of Khanh Hoa left SEA Games champion Nguyen Van Lai behind to take the gold medal.
Bao completed the race in 31min 21.28sec, nearly 2sec faster than runner-up Nguyen Van Hau of the Military, while Lai, also a soldier, came in third with a time of 31:40.61.
"It does not mean that the SEA Games champion would win other events of the same distance. Running indoors and outdoors are very different," said Nguyen Manh Hung, deputy general secretary of the Viet Nam Athletics Federation, when talking about Lai's being defeated.
Meanwhile, Do Thi Thao claimed the title of women's 5km for professional athletes. The capital city woman finished with a time of 17:26.15, leaving her rivals, Nguyen Thi Oanh of Bac Giang and Nguyen Thi Bich Tram from Khanh Hoa far behind as she reached the finish line.
In the race for youths, Le Van Thao from Thanh Hoa and Pham Thi Hue of Quang Ninh won gold medals.
On the team ranking, Khanh Hoa, who sent the largest number of participants, pocketed the top position for the 10th race in a row. The Military and hosts Lam Dong were runner-ups.
The Tien Phong event is an annual tournament. This year nearly 260 runners took part in 10 categories for both professionals, youths and amateurs. — VNS