|Hoàng Nguyên Thanh (top podium) poses with other medallists of the men's full marathon categories. Photo tienphong.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Hoàng Nguyên Thanh defended his title while Hoàng Thị Ngọc Hoa was back to her best at the national Tiền Phong Newspaper Marathon organised in Côn Đảo Island, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province on Sunday.
Thanh, who has dominated marathons for three years since he returned to running in 2019, had no problems defending his top position in the men's full marathon (42km), finishing with a time of 2hr 41min.
It was his third championship trophy although he could not beat his personal best of 2:26.55 set last year when the tournament was held in Gia Lai.
"I am happy with the third win in a row here," said Thanh who will represent Việt Nam at the SEA Games in May.
"Each victory brings me different feelings because winning is difficult, defending the win is much harder.
"The track is beautiful but also tough because of high temperature and hilly route. However, I believe that all athletes are excited to overcome challenges and discover Côn Đảo's beauty."
Thanh, of Bình Phước Province, hopes to change his SEA Games position from third to higher and break the national record of 2:21.51 in May.
He was followed by Lê Văn Tuấn of Bình Dương and Lê Tấn Hi from Lâm Đồng Province.
On the women's side, Hoa also from Bình Phước, finished first with a time of 2:53.56. Her-rival Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ moved to run in the 21km category and never faced her.
Hoa championed in the 2020 event in Quảng Ngãi but was defeated by Lệ in last year's championship.
Nguyễn Thụy Ý Tiên from Khánh Hòa and Lèo Thị Tình of Sơn La were second and third, respectively.
In the women's 21km class, Lệ of Bình Định Province despite little practice won with a time of 1:22.41.
Her coach Huỳnh Minh Hiếu said Lệ could not defend her title in the 42km because of an injury that she suffered from the VPBank Hanoi Marathon on March 6.
Lê Thị Tuyết of Phú Yên came second and Lò Thị Thanh of Sơn La third.
In the men's shorter race, Nguyễn Văn Lai of Military Team took the top place. He was followed by Phạm Ngọc Phan (Bình Thuận) and Mai Quý Phong (Quảng Bình).
In the men's 10km, Đỗ Quốc Luật grabbed his eighth title in a row, clocking 31min 28.42sec.
He left 42 professional runners behind with a gap of five seconds to the nearest rival Nguyễn Quốc Anh, also of the Military Team. Lê Tiến Long of Hà Tĩnh was third.
His eighth title made him level with most wins with Lưu Văn Hùng who is currently head of Thanh Hóa Province's Athletics Department.
"I have been running here for 13 years," said Luật.
"It is great to level Hùng's record. This title will be a strong push for me when I defend my 3,000m steeplechase at the 31st SEA Games."
The Tiền Phong Marathon this year gathered more than 3,700 runners including more than 200 professional athletes. They ran in full marathon, semi-marathon, 10km and 5km and vied for total prize money of VNĐ500 million (US$21,800).
Next year, the tournament which is the national oldest event will be hosted by Lai Châu Province. — VNS