|Lê Văn Tuấn (left) poses for a photo with Hoàng Nguyên Thanh (right) and runner Đoàn Ngọc Hải after winning the 10th HCM City Marathon on January 8. Photo courtesy of Lê Văn Tuấn
HÀ NỘI — National team member Lê Văn Tuấn topped in the 10th HCM City Marathon yesterday in his first tournament of the year after taking a late lead of SEA Games champion Hoàng Nguyên Thanh, who took a wrong turn 500m from the finish line.
Tuấn finished the men's elite full 42km marathon with a time of 2hr 32.40min to claim the gold medal.
"I am happy with the first place in the first tournament this year," said Tuấn, who gave his bonus to Thanh.
"Thanh was the leading runner in the tournament. But he got lost about 500m from the finish line. I ran on the right way, so I crossed the line first, but he deserved to win," Tuấn told Việt Nam News.
"The final result cannot be changed, but the bonus receiver can. Thanh deserved to win and enjoy the award. I am happy to give mine to him."
Tuấn, who finished fourth in the 31st SEA Games last May, said that winning this early in the year would be a great impetus for him for the rest of 2023.
The 39-year-old, who finished third at the December National Sports Games, still focuses on the next SEA Games, which will be held this May in Cambodia.
"I set a target of getting better every day. I will try to beat my personal best of 2:25.50 set at the National Games and will compete at the SEA Games if possible," said Tuấn.
His personal best is now better than the SEA Games bronze medallist Tony Payne of Thailand, who ran 2:26.40.
On the women's elite marathon, SEA Games bronze medallist Hoàng Thị Ngọc Hoa came first after 3:05.43.
Nguyễn Thị Thuý Vân and Nguyễn Thị Thanh Tuyền were second and third, respectively.
In the men's elite half marathon, Lê Hữu Lộc, Nguyễn Lê Hoàng Vũ and Trương Nhật Linh were in the top three. Meanwhile, Lê Thị Kha Ly, Trương Hồng Uyên and Trần Thị Ny were best in the women's.
The 10th edition of the event also held categories for amateur runners.
Đặng Anh Quyết, one of the most famous athletes in the amateur community, made no difficulty taking the top podium of the men's 30-39-year-old group.
Quyết, who got married a week ago, maintained at his strong run to finish with a time of 2:41.47.
He was followed by Hoàng Đoàn Ngọc and Nguyễn Trần Minh Đức.
"It is a good start of the year with a title. I have run well with a good pace of 3:49," Quyết told Việt Nam News. He did not forget to say 'thank you' to his wife of one week, who is also an amateur marathoner.
The women's title went to Nguyễn Thị Đường, who ran 3:17.51, leaving behind Tạ Thị Minh Nghĩa and Trần Thị Hoa.
The marathon was held in the Phú Mỹ Hưng Urban Area with 10,000 local and foreign runners in four categories: 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km.
A running competition for children was also launched with 500 children aged three to 10 in two categories of 1.5km and 500m.
The HCM City Athletics Federation and Pulse Active, a sports-tourism and lifestyle entertainment company and the Department of Culture and Sports organised the marathon.
It is one of Việt Nam’s largest marathons and has been held annually since 2013. This year’s prizes total over VNĐ700 million (US$29,800). VNS