|Nguyễn Tiến Trọng trains for the upcoming SEA Games. — Photo courtesy of Trọng|
By Thanh Nga
Long jumper Nguyễn Tiến Trọng is ready for the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia, and plans to fight with all his might for the Vietnamese flag.
“My goal at the upcoming Games is to defend my gold medal and get the best result for the Vietnamese team,” Trọng told Việt Nam News.
“To prepare for the Games in Cambodia, I try to train well and make the adjustments of my coach, as well as keep my mind and body in good shape. I try to be determined and constantly try. For me, youth is to live with passion.”
In addition to the two-day training plan with his coach, the SEA Games champion has added two extra training sessions in the early morning and evening to maintain his fitness and performance. He also follows a strict diet to keep his physique and body weight in the best shape possible.
Trọng won gold in the men’s long jump event at the 31st SEA Games in Việt Nam last year with a leap of 7.80m. His national record is 7.98m.
|Nguyễn Tiến Trọng seen at the 31st SEA Games. — Photo courtesy of Trọng|
Trọng is also a member of the military team and among the key athletes of the Vietnamese track and field team, competing for a Games medal and also aiming high at the Asian Games 19.
The 26-year-old has been dubbed the athlete with the most beautiful body on the Vietnamese track and field team, with a height of 1.93m.
Trọng was born and raised in the northern province of Hải Dương. He was the youngest in a family with four siblings. He was very fond of sports and from a young age he was taller than his peers, soon chosen to join the school's sports club.
Always achieving high results in tournaments, Trọng quickly caught the attention of coaches. In the 8th grade, he left his family to study and train at a sports centre in the province, where it was suggested he train for long jump.
In 2016, Trọng became the centre's No 1 long jumper, achieving a 7.71m jump.
The same year at the National Athletics Championships, he won a gold for the first time in his career.
"I broke the national youth record with a 7.68m jump at that event. It was thanks to this gold medal that I was called to the national team," Trọng said.
In 2017, at the 29th SEA Games held in Malaysia, Trọng was expected to bring home gold. But because he did not have a lot of experience in competition and was still quite young, he only ranked fifth. Veteran Bùi Văn Đông won gold with a jump of 7.83m.
Undeterred by his failure, Trọng continued to practise hard. In 2019, the young man broke the Vietnamese record for the first time, surpassing Đông with a jump of 7.98m.
Trọng is aiming to surpass the milestone of 8m to win gold at the coming 32nd Games. His arch-rival Sapwaturrahman of Indonesia is still competing and has a SEA Games record of 8.03m.
|Nguyễn Tiến Trọng got married with Nguyễn Thị Phương Trinh in the national sepak takraw team. — Photo courtesy of Trọng|
At the 31st Games last May, Trọng impressed many fans with his sweet proposal to his girlfriend Nguyễn Thị Phương Trinh of the national sepak takraw team, right after winning the gold medal in the long jump.
In February, Trọng got married. Since then, he has had to learn how to balance his new life between family and career.
"I'm married, so I need to have a higher income. Sometimes, the athlete's salary is not enough, so I have to do business, but I try to balance it because I have a big goal in my career," Trọng said.
"However, my family has always been the driving force for me to grab glory. My age is probably no longer young. I'm entering the mature-end of my career, but still have many things to do. I will try to break my own record in the upcoming tournaments.
"We delayed our honeymoon to prepare for the Games in Cambodia. I will try to get high result to use the prize money to take my wife to enjoy our honeymoon somewhere meaningful," he said. VNS