|Viêt Nam's top runner Nguyễn Thị Oanh will take part in the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships 2023 in Kazakhstan on February 20-12. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI - Việt Nam will send its four best athletes to compete for medals at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships 2023 in Kazakhstan later this week.
It is the first continental tournament in which Vietnamese competitors will participate after three years of the pandemic.
All four have performed impressively in recent tournaments, including the 31st SEA Games and the ninth National Sports Games (NSG) in 2022.
Multi-time SEA Games winner Nguyễn Thi Huyền will compete in the women's 400m event.
Huyền successfully defended her 400m and 4x400m titles at the regional sports event in May in Hà Nội.
Seven months later, her domination continued at the NSG in the capital city, setting her seasonal best of 53.37sec.
The SEA Games record breaker Nguyễn Thị Oanh will participate in the women's 1,500m and 3,000m events. While the 3,000m steeplechase is usually her preferred event, the 3,000m is held instead in the indoor tournament.
Oanh had a career-defining 2022, winning a hattrick of the 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m and setting a new record in the steeplechase.
She also won gold at the NSG in the 1,500, 3,000m steeplechase and 10,000m, setting another record in the last category.
Her best time in the 1,500m is 4min 16.67sec. Her SEA Games record in the 3,000m steeplechase is 9:52.44. However, she has not competed in the 3,000m for almost three years.
Oanh won bronze medals in both events in the previous tournament edition in 2018.
She was also voted the best Vietnamese athlete of 2022 by the National Sports Administration and secured a trophy for the best female athlete of the Victory Cup, as voted by the VTVcab and Vietcontent Sports.
|Lương Đức Phước will make his continental debut at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships 2023 in Kazakhstan. -- VNA/VNS Photo|
Rising star Lương Đức Phước will make his debut continental debut in the 800m and 1,500m events. The 20-year-old established his domination in the national championship and the NSG. The SEA Games' 1,500m triumph was a big win for the rookie in his first appearance.
His personal bests are 1:58.89 in the 800m and 4:00.62 in the 1,500m.
The last domestic athlete travelling to Kazakstan is Nguyễn Trung Cường, the winner of the NSG's 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m.
Cường was recognised as a promising talent after his performances at international junior tournaments when he was young. However, he slipped down the national rankings after injuries and family commitments.
He started his comeback in September when he overcame powerful athletes like former SEA Games winner Đỗ Quốc Luật in the 3,000m steeplechase and SEA Games champion Nguyễn Văn Lai in the 5,000m to take the top podiums at the NSG.
His NSG record of 8:58.35 in the 3,000m steeplechase is a strong base to help him get high results in the 3,000m.
The championship will take place at Astana's Qazaqstan sports complex from February 10-12. About 500 athletes from 31 countries and territories will join the tournament, including 26 disciplines of running, throwing, jumping, and all-around events.
Vietnamese delegation under coach Vũ Ngọc Lợi will leave for the tournament on February 8.
The Astana championships will be the 10th edition of the tournament. The biennial event, organised by Asian Athletics Association, was cancelled in 2020, while last year’s event was pushed forward due to COVID-19.
In the 2018 championship, Việt Nam ranked seventh with one gold and three bronzes. VNS