|Swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng seen in the SEA Games last year. He is expected to shine at the Tokyo Olympics next year. - Photo dayboitrangbom.com
HÀ NỘI — Swimmer Nguyễn Huy Hoàng is expected to shine at the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Hoàng, 20, is the only Vietnamese swimmer to have secured two slots to compete in Japan’s event in the men’s 800m freestyle and 1,500m freestyle.
“Hoàng is set to reach the top 12 in the Olympics. However, I see that he has a chance to reach the top eight (final round). This is difficult but it will be a historical achievement if he gains this. The training staff, Hoàng and myself, will try to complete his goal,” said Hoàng's coach, Chinese national Huang Gouhui.
According to Huang, the big difficulty now is the COVID-19 pandemic that has stopped Hoàng from competing in international tournaments to gain experience and hone his skills.
However, Hoàng is being trained under a special lesson plan with high intensity and closely supervised by the training staff.
Huang said he believes that Hoàng will make a name for Vietnamese swimming at the world's biggest sporting event.
Hoàng, a native of the central province of Quảng Bình, became the first Vietnamese athlete to secure a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after finishing the 800m freestyle race at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships in South Korea in 7:52.74, under the Olympic Standard A time of 7:54.31.
He won a second ticket for the 1,500m freestyle after smashing a Southeast Asian (SEA) Games record last year. He finished the 1,500m in 14:58.14, shattering the SEA Games’ previous record, which he also set, of 15:20.10.
“Sometimes I have pressure, but I always keep my thoughts comfortable, because when I'm really comfortable, I can train and compete confidently and surpass my limits. The year 2020 is nearly over so I will focus on events next year with the Olympics and SEA Games. I will work hard to get the best results in these two tournaments,” said Hoàng.
At the National Swimming Championship in October, he proved his power with five gold medals.
At the SEA Games 2019, Hoàng brought home two golds and two silvers. He also broke the record of the tournament in the 400m freestyle.
Earlier in 2018, Hoàng surprised fans by winning an 800m freestyle gold medal at the Youth Olympics as well as one silver and one bronze at the Asian Games. VNS