|Nguyễn Quang Thuấn (left) is following in the footsteps of his sister Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên (right). — Photo webthethao.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Quang Thuấn, the younger brother of swimming sensation Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên, has earned a place at the upcoming 31st SEA Games in Việt Nam in May, thanks to his impressive results in the domestic championships.
Thuấn won four gold medals at the National Swimming Championship 2021 in Đà Nẵng last December. He was fastest in the men’s 400m individual medley, 200m butterfly, 800m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
The 16-year-old competed at the National Short-Course (25m pool) Swimming Championship held in Thừa Thiên - Huế last March, in which he won gold medals in the men’s 200m freestyle, 400m individual medley, 400m freestyle, 1,500m freestyle and 200m butterfly. In this event, Thuấn broke the old record of 4:15.11 held by Trần Hưng Nguyên in 2019 in the 400m individual medley with a time of 4:11.81.
However, his big sister Viên has decided to say goodbye to the national swimming team, and won't be competing at this year's SEA Games.
Viên, who was born in 1996, has won 25 SEA Games gold medals. She also has nine silver, two bronze and held 11 records at the regional competition.
The 31st SEA Games this year will be the first time Thuấn competes in the region's biggest sporting event. His story mirrors his sisters, who first competed at the 2011 SEA Games at the age of 15.
After five SEA Games, Viên has become a swimming legend at the event. She is Việt Nam's most successful athlete and fifth-best among ASEAN countries in the history of the SEA Games.
The national swimming team will take part in the upcoming regional sports event with 32 members and aims to achieve 6-8 gold medals.
Thuấn is expected to follow his older sister and build his own image in the pool.
|Nguyễn Quang Thuấn will represent Việt Nam at the upcoming SEA Games in May. — Photo thanhnien.vn|
Lê Thanh Huyền, head of the swimming department of the National Sports Administration, said that Thuấn is a talented swimmer and has potential for development in the future, especially at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia in 2023.
To perform well, Viên must play the role of both a sister and a teacher to her younger brother.
“Thuấn is still young, so when he makes faults in practising, I just give him advice and encourage him to do better. The important thing is to keep trying his best in training and in competition. I told him to try to develop naturally, I don't have to set goals for him,” said Viên.
Thuấn has spent a lot of time practising and getting used to swimming, starting at just three years old.
Thuấn's journey began in the canal in front of his house.
"I don't remember how I felt at that time. I just know that every time swimming is too difficult, I was encouraged. In the past, Viên was the same," said Thuấn.
From eight years old, Thuấn practised in a professional training centre, before training in the National Sports Training Centre in Cần Thơ City. Thanks to his dedication, talent and hard work, he is highly appreciated by the coaches.
Coach Nguyễn Hoàng Vũ said that: "Thuấn also possesses the same natural talents as his sister: good buoyancy and a favourable body shape for swimming. In addition, he has the will, trains hard and a very competitive mentality. These are essential factors to be a professional swimmer."
|Nguyễn Thị Ánh Viên and her brother Nguyễn Quang Thuấn. — Photo webthethao.vn|
Currently, Viên, who represents the Military team, is still focusing on her own projects while supporting her younger brother in training and competition. She also spends time taking care of herself and her family.
Thuấn said: “My idol is Viên. I want to be as successful as my older sister. I will make every effort in both training and competition”. VNS