(BGO) – The little home of Asian weightlifting champion Vuong Thi Huyen, born in 1992, is located in the foot of Ong Mountain in Tien Bo hamlet of Tien Thang commune, Yen The district (Bac Giang province). Standing in the living room is a cabinet displaying certificates of merit, photos, souvenirs and medals won by Huyen. Although Huyen has gained a number of victories, she is still a plain and friendly girl.
Vuong Thi Huyen shows her strength in the competition arena.
Huyen’s father, Vuong Van Duc, made tea while speaking to his guests. His eyes became radiant when he talked about his daughter. He said: “My daughter has loved sports since she was a little girl. However, the family’s unfavourable conditions could not allow her to pursue her sports love until she turned 15 and began taking on training at a martial arts club in Yen The district. After that, she was chosen by a weightlifting coach from Hanoi and started pursuing an athlete career since then.” Continuous strenuous training courses and competitions took almost all Huyen’s time. She returned home twice or thrice a year, mostly on the occasion of Tet – the Lunar New Year holiday. In 2012, her mother Ly Thi Thanh passed away. Although her father became the only breadwinner, he has always encouraged Huyen to exert more efforts in training and at competitions.
Truong Van Thi, a resident in Tien Bo hamlet, said he has never missed any morning sports bulletins when knowing his hamlet has generated a national weightlifter in order to update the news of Huyen and inform other villagers about them. He and other local people also watched Huyen’s performance at such events as the world weightlifting championships or the Rio Olympics via TV. Thi said: “Though we cannot give direct support, we always hope that the homeland people’s attention and pride will give Huyen strength to stage sound performances and bring home glory.”
The family’s continual support and her fellow countrymen’s sentiments helped Huyen attain extraordinary achievements. The small, 48-kg girl surprised others by lifting an 84kg snatch and a 110kg clean and jerk to win a record total result of 194kg. Difficulties in life and training could not deter her from sticking on the career she has chosen. For example, in the time experts assessed her performance was improving slowly, she did sweat over the training, taking the trust of her countrymen and the family’s sentiment as the driving force. And, she eventually made it. In 2015 and 2016, Huyen became a champion by winning an Asia gold medal in the women’s 48kg category and ranking second in the same category at the world championships, thus winning a ticket to the Rio 2016 Olympics. Previously, she had conquered a number of domestic junior tournaments and the Vietnam National Games and broken national records.
I did not see Huyen during this trip to Yen The, but fortunately met the champion in Bac Giang city earlier. The girl looked tender in winter clothes, an image which is opposite from the tough girl she showed at competitions. She said she has enrolled in a tertiary training course at the Bac Ninh Sport University for three years in order to continue the sports career for the long term. She said after failing to obtain an expected result at the Rio 2016 Olympics, she will practice harder to improve her performance to shine at international competitions, including the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Malaysia and the Asian Weightlifting Championships.