Thanh, Tuyết win national Tiền Phong Newspaper Marathon

March 27, 2023 - 09:11
Thanh proved too strong for his rivals as he crossed the finish line first, clocking in at 2 hours and 36.02 minutes, which was an improvement from his performance last year in Côn Đảo.
Hoàng Nguyên Thanh crosses the finish line of the 42km event at the Tiền Phong Marathon on Sunday. He wins the national championship for the fourth time in a row. — Photo courtesy of Tiền Phong Marathon

LAI CHÂU — Hoàng Nguyên Thanh from Bình Phước Province defended his title at the 64th Tiền Phong newspaper National Marathon on Sunday in Lai Châu Province and Lê Thị Tuyết showcased her talent to claim victory in the 42km category.

Thanh proved too strong for his rivals as he crossed the finish line first, clocking in at 2 hours and 36.02 minutes, which was an improvement from his performance last year in Côn Đảo.

Nguyễn Văn Lai, a former national team runner representing the Military team, finished second with a time of 2:37.11, followed by Mai Quí Phong of Quảng Bình, who recorded a time of 2:37.29.

"The route here is tough with long hilly roads," said Thanh. "Athletes had to prepare good fitness, and experience is also needed to help runners finish well."

"I must understand my ability, evaluate other runners and test the route carefully before running. I also tried to follow the leading group in most of the race before departing from them in the last 5km. It was my tactic, and it worked."

Thanh has set dominated the event for four years in a row, though this year he faced stiff competition from both rising stars and veterans like Lai, who switched from his favourite 5km and 10km events to the full marathon.

"They made my race tougher but they also became a strong push for me to work harder and run faster," Thanh said.

The SEA Games reigning champion said the national championship was an important test for him in preparation for the 32nd SEA Games in May in Cambodia.

"In the last SEA Games, nobody knew me, so I could win the title without pressure," he said. "But this year, they will keep eye on me and prepare better to beat me. Then, I will also have to do better than them to defend my title."

On the women's side, 18-year-old Tuyết showed that her gold medal from the National Sports Games last December was not a fluke.

The Phú Yên Province-born athlete took the lead from the beginning and finished first with a time of 2:54.33.

Lê Thị Tuyết won the women's full marathon event. She will represent Việt Nam in the 32nd SEA Games in May in Cambodia.

She again beat SEA Games bronze medalist Hoàng Thị Ngọc Hoa of Bình Phước in the oldest national marathon competition.

Hoa was second with 2:59.42 and Lèo Thị Tình of Sơn La came third timing 3:11.20.

It was the third time that Tuyết ran at the Tiền Phong Marathon but the first time in the full marathon class. Last year, she finished second in the 21km.

The 21km classes saw Triệu Tiến Luyện of Bình Thuận take the men's top podium.

Vòng Vành Long of Lâm Đồng and Nguyễn Lê Hoàng Vũ of Khánh Hòa were second and third, respectively.

Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ from Bình Định successfully defended her women's throne with a time of 1:25.32. She set up a big gap of nearly four minutes to the nearest rival, Bàn Thị Vân of Bình Phước. Phạm Huỳnh Yến Thư of Phú Yên was third, running in 1:30.29.

The men's 10km saw two records by Đỗ Quốc Luật of the Military. Luật came first at 31.21min, a new height of the tournament.

He also became the first runner to win the category nine times in a row.

Nguyễn Trung Cường and Lê Tiến Long, both of Hà Tĩnh, were two runners-up.

"I take this tournament to test my ability ahead of the SEA Games," said Luật. "Previously, I ran in the 3,000m steeplechase, but this year I moved to the 5,000 and 10,000m, which I have not focused much. I am in a serious programme to make me one of the top three in the Phnom Penh meet."

The 64th tournament saw a record of more than 4,000 runners, elite and amateur, taking part in the events, which were 5km to a full marathon. They vied for a bonus of more than VNĐ500 million (US$21,300) and many sponsors' gifts. — VNS