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Thanh aims for SEA Games marathon gold

About a hundred metres before prior to the finish line, Hoang Nguyen Thanh pulled out a tiny national flag and waived to celebrate his victory in the 2020 national marathon championship.

Thanh secured his second national title in a time of 2:36:56, marking a remarkable return to running after about two years of absence, on Ly Son Island of Quang Ngai Province in early July.

Hoang Nguyen Thanh, SEA Games, marathon gold, national marathon championship, Heritage Marathon, major event

Hoang Nguyen Thanh believes in his chance to win a top three finish at the coming SEA Games in Vietnam.

His outstanding performance secured him a berth in the national team to prepare for the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi next November.

It was also his fourth top finish since 2019 which saw him win the Pocari Sweat Run half-marathon, the Cần Thơ Heritage Marathon’s half-marathon and the Techcombank HCM City International Marathon’s full marathon.

In late July, Thanh claimed silver from the 5,000-participant Quy Nhon Marathon in Binh Dinh Province. The unexpected letdown in Quy Nhon, where he was the favourite, has motivated him to push harder.

Now, he's aiming for a podium finish at the coming Games when Vietnam will send male athletes to compete in the marathon after having no representation in the race at the Manila SEA Games last year.

Born in 1995, Thanh was considered a great long-distance running talent of his native province of Binh Phuoc and Vietnam earlier in his career.

At the age of 20 in 2015, Thanh overcame experienced senior athletes to take the national championship title and grabbed a berth in the national team to compete at Singapore SEA Games later that year.

In the 28th Games, the unknown competitor made a bang with a third-place finish, ending Vietnam’s 12-year marathon medal drought at the regional event.

The new job did not make him happy although it brought him an easier life.

Hoang Nguyen Thanh, SEA Games, marathon gold, national marathon championship, Heritage Marathon, major event

Hoang Nguyen Thanh (right) receives a bronze at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.

In late 2018, Thanh saw the strong development of running in the country, and it sparked his passion again. Thanh received offers from Binh Phuoc Province and agreed to run for the team last August.

Like a duck taking to water, he easily won at all three major events of Pocari Sweat Run, Can Tho Heritage Marathon and Techcombank HCM City Marathon and set a personal best of 2:29:29 at the latter race.

Thanh then set a record with his fifth victory of the 2020 National Ba Ra Mountain Climbing tournament this January held in his hometown.

Vietnam best marathon result at the SEA Games is a silver by Nguyen Che Dong in 2002 Games in Hanoi.

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Source: VNS

 

Hoang Nguyen Thanh, SEA Games, marathon gold, national marathon championship, Heritage Marathon, major event
 
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