Vietnamese cyclist Đinh Thị Như Quỳnh celebrates her win in the women’s mountain bike cross-country Olympic category on May 16. VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đạt
HÒA BÌNH — Vietnamese cyclist Đinh Thị Như Quỳnh defended her gold medal in the women’s mountain bike cross-country Olympic category on May 16.
Quỳnh finished first with a time of 1:18.06 to get the victory, followed by Zainal Abidin Nur Assyira of Malaysia with a time of 1:22.14 and Malaysian Soon Natahsya clocking in at 1:23.
At the SEA Games 30 held in the Philippines in 2019, Quỳnh also bagged the gold medal in the same category.
Despite difficulties due to adverse weather conditions - it rained before the race began - causing some parts of the race track to sink, Quỳnh still completed her race outstandingly to leave behind her rivals at the finish line.
“I am thrilled and proud of this medal. I dedicate this victory to my family and fans,” Quỳnh said.
Quỳnh, 30, is a veteran cyclist of the Vietnamese sports delegation. She has won many medals at the SEA Games and tournaments in the region thanks to her physical strength, endurance, agility and flexibility.
During her career, Quỳnh won a gold medal at the SEA Games 26; bronze medals at the Asian Mountain Bike Championships 2012 and SEA Games 27; and gold medals at the national mountain biking tournaments 2019 and 2020. In March 2022, she won the Biwase Cup Women's Cycling Tournament championship trophy.
On the men’s side, the gold medal went to Fanani Zaenal of Indonesia with a time of 1:16.41. Zaenal’s teammate Muhammad Ihza took silver with a time of 1:19.14, and the bronze belonged to Rivera Jericho of the Philippines with a time of 1:20.04.
The men’s event attracted the participation of 18 athletes from seven countries: Việt Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.
The Vietnamese national team had the presence of three athletes Bùi Văn Hiếu, Võ Minh Gia Bảo and Nguyễn Hữu Sang. However, they failed to achieve good results despite their best efforts.
With many sharp turns and steep slopes on the track, Zulkifli Zulfikri of Malaysia had to give up in the third stage due to a fall.