Runner Oanh ready for SEA Games after domestic success

Runner Oanh ready for SEA Games after domestic success


Thanh Hà

HÀ NỘI   Nguyễn Thị Oanh proved her status in Vietnamese athletics after she secured four gold medals in the four toughest categories of indoor events and set a new record at the recent National Athletics Championships.

The pint-sized runner is now aiming to defend her thrones at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next November.

Runner Oanh ready for SEA Games after domestic success

Oanh started the  tournament with a gold medal in the women’s  五,000m last Tuesday and then took the  一, 五00m title the next day. She went on to win the  三,000m steeplechase on Friday morning before setting a new record in the  一0,000m in the afternoon.

“The  五,000m and  一, 五00m are my strong points. I have prepared really well to make sure of my No  一 position in the national competition for many years meanwhile  一0,000m is optional for me,” Oanh told reporters.

“What I have done in the  五,000m and  三,000m steeplechase was not as good as I planned while the result of the  一, 五00m event made me feel good. And I was really surprised because I not only won but also broke a record in the  一0,000m,” the Bắc Giang Province-born runner said.

Oanh ran the former event in a time of  四min  一 三. 八 八sec, nearly four seconds better than when she won gold in the Manila SEA Games last year.

In the later event, Oanh burst into tears at the finish line when she saw her result of  三 四:0 八. 五 四 was the new national record.

Her score was about  四0sec better than the  一 七-year-old record of  三 四: 四 八. 二 八 set by Đoàn Nữ Trúc Vân at the  二00 三 national tournament.

Oanh recently decided to run the  一0,000m event recently after she dominated long-course categories in marathons nationwide.

Runner Oanh ready for SEA Games after domestic success

“I once practiced  一0,000m about six or seven years ago but I did not focus much on it. I just thought and seriously trained for this year's championship but it is not a mandatory event for me,” Oanh told Việt Nam News.

“After the  三,000m steeplechase in the morning I nearly decided to withdraw from the  一0,000m (which was held only five hours later the same day). But after rest time and together with people’s encouragement I wanted to test myself in this indoor longest race for the first time.”

Oanh is a veteran runner but was a freshman in this event where she faced marathoner Phạm Thị Hồng Lệ who won a  二0 一 九 SEA Games silver medal, among other title favourites. They had to run  二 五 laps around Hà Nội’s Mỹ Đình Stadium.

“I did not set any target, just asked myself to complete the race with the best result.

“At the halfway mark, I told myself ‘wow, how really, really long it is’. I took a deep breath and self-pushed to try harder. When there were two laps left, I understood that I had a chance to break a record. And I ran with all the energy left in me to finish."