Best foot forward: Nguyễn Thị Thanh Phúc answers reporters at the 28th SEA Games in Singapore last year. She will compete in the Asian 20km race walking championships at Nomi-shi, Japan on Sunday. Photo baomoi.com
HÀ NỘI – “Walking Queen” Nguyễn Thị Thanh Phúc aims to secure a berth for the Brazil Olympics at the upcoming 2016 Asian 20km race walking championships in Nomi-shi, Japan on Sunday.
It is Phúc’s last chance to qualify for the Rio games.
Phúc qualified for the 2012 London Olympics after snatching a bronze medal at the same event held in Japan in 2012.
The 22-year-old from Đà Nẵng clocked one hour and 35 minutes in the 20km race to successfully qualify for Olympic Standard B.
“I will try my best to earn a ticket to the Brazil Olympic this summer via this year’s event,” Phúc said.
“Japan is very cold. I hope wind doesn’t affect my result,” added Phúc.
Phúc also bagged a silver medal in the tournament in 2013 with a time 1:35.26. However, she missed the event in 2014 and 2015 due to injury.
Phúc needs to clock a time of 1 hour and 36 minutes to qualify for the Olympics.
To prepare for the event, Phúc, who won a gold medal in the same race at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore last year with a time of 1:45.20, has been training in China.
Two other Vietnamese athletes will compete in the event, namely Võ Xuân Vĩnh and Phúc’s brother Nguyễn Thành Ngưng.
“Qualifying for Brazil will be tough for the Vietnamese as there are many strong athletes at this year’s event,” said Dương Đức Thủy, head of the athletics section of the National Sports Administration.
The Vietnamese team will leave for Japan on March 18.
Việt Nam secured two berths in athletics events at the London Olympics in 2012, but they have not attained any Olympic berths so far this year.
Việt Nam aim to secure 16 to 20 Olympic berths in shooting, athletics, swimming and gymnastics, as well as fencing and weightlifting.
Six athletes have secured a berth so far for 2016 Summer Olympics that will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to 21. — VNS