LONDON – Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc came 36th out of 61 athletes in the women's 20km race walk event at the London Olympics on Saturday, but set a new national record of 1hr 33.36min.
Although a long way from the medal, Phuc was able to improve her time by 1.37min compared to Asian Race Walking Championship in March, where she came third.
Phuc was the last to compete of the 18 Vietnamese competitors in London. Except for shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh and weightlifter Tran Le Quoc Toan who come very close to the bronze medal, standing at fourth overall, other athletes were unable to make their mark at the world's largest multi-sports event.
Viet Nam have had representatives compete at the Olympics since 1980, but so far local athletes have only been able to bring home two medals. Taekwondo artist Tran Hieu Ngan won a silver in Sydney in 2000 and weightlifter Hoang Anh Tuan got another silver in Beijing four years ago. --VNS