Non-elite athletes run in SEA Games 'companion marathon'

May 19, 2022 - 19:11
More than 200 non-professional athletes took part in the ongoing SEA Games 'companion marathon' in Hà Nội this morning. Nông Thị Chang for the women and Vũ Đình Duân for the men took first place.

HÀ NỘI— More than 200 non-professional athletes took part in the ongoing SEA Games 'companion marathon' in Hà Nội this morning. Nông Thị Chang for the women and Vũ Đình Duân for the men took first place.

Meanwhile, Hoàng Thị Hồng Uyên and Nguyễn Phan Thùy Vân came second and third in the women's event, and Đặng Anh Quyết and Võ Cao Thiện came second and third in the men's.

They ran alongside athletes representing countries participating in the marathon at the Games.

Nông Thị Chang won first place in the women's non-elite section of the marathon, which took place in Hà Nội. Photo courtesy of VPBank Hanoi Marathon

They were among 200 amateur runners selected from three leading prestigious non-professional races such as the VPBank Hanoi Marathon, the Tien Phong Marathon and the Salonpas HCM City Marathon.

The non-elite athletes participating in the 'running in companion' marathon started on the same track reserved for international athletes and organised according to SEA Games standards as official content of the Games.

Male Vũ Đình Duân won first place in the companion event. Photo courtesy of VPBank Hanoi Marathon

This marked the first time that the results of Việt Nam’s leading non-elite runners were officially recorded in the SEA Games.

Nguyễn Trí, General Director of DHA Vietnam, the owner of the VPBank Hanoi Marathon, said: “The 31st SEA Games is receiving great attention and appreciation from the media and sports fans in ASEAN countries.

"For the first time in Việt Nam's sports history and also for the first time at the SEA Games, more than 200 non-elite athletes can participate directly in a regional professional tournament in the 'running in companion' event. It is also an important indicator of the revival of non-professional sport in line with international trends."

In developed countries in Europe, the US, and Japan, sport plays a particularly important role.

In Việt Nam and Southeast Asia, as economic conditions and living standards improve, people's interest in sports is growing and enhancing community health.

The outstanding achievements of Vietnamese track and field athletes in recent days are a testament to the resonance of professional and non-professional sports. Professional athletes can continuously compete and improve their performance at highly specialised non-professional tournaments.

The official slogan of the 31st SEA Games, "For a stronger Southeast Asia" is strongly inspiring the community, especially Vietnamese long-distance runners. 

"Practising sport, and running in particular, is the most effective and least expensive active healthcare method for everyone. Running is the sport with the most people in training," Trí said.

"This is also the reason why the VPBank Hanoi Marathon has recently chosen the message 'For a strong Việt Nam' to support the 31st SEA Games while reminding the community that a strong physical foundation is a basic element to beat the pandemic and for the country to rise strongly and recover with the world."

Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, who is in charge of athletics at the Vietnam Sports Administration and General Secretary of the Vietnam Athletics Federation, said: "The 31st SEA Games is the first event that allows non-elite athletes to participate, besides athletes of national teams, in competing for medals."

"We believe that the more than 200 athletes participating in the 'running in companion' with Games events are athletes with the best results for the 42.1km distance in the country. They have been selected from prestigious races directly supervised by the Federation and have the opportunity to assert their bravery and shine on the Games race track.

"Getting more than 200 runners to run in companionship was also helped by efforts from prestigious organisers such as DHA Vietnam, which is dedicated to the country's marathons, committed to long-term companionship and constantly improving professionalism, not only in organisational activities but also in strengthening international connections.

"Their final purpose is to make the country a destination for foreign runners, contributing to promoting discovery-sports tourism, especially for the post-pandemic recovery." VNS