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Olympics: Lan vows to try her best for Vietnam in first athletics semis

Runner Quach Thi Lan has vowed to try her best in the women’s 400m hurdles semi-final next Monday, after becoming the first Vietnamese runner to have qualified for athletics semis at the Olympics.

Lan ran her personal best of 55.71 in the women’s 400m hurdles heat this morning to qualify for the semis.

Olympics, Quach Thi Lan, try her best, Vietnam, first athletics semis, first Vietnamese runner, world's top athletes

Runner Quach Thi Lan (far right) in action during the women’s 400m hurdles heat at Tokyo 2020 on July 31, 2021.

“The coach told me to be comfortable in the competition and I did that. Being able to compete with the world's top athletes, including world No. 1 Sydney McLaughlin, has given me an exciting experience", Lan told reporters after winning the historic berth for Vietnam, sharing that her relaxed mentality did help her to successfully complete the run.

Competing alongside world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of the US, Lan clocked in at 55.71, her second-best achievement so far after the 55.30 that helped her win gold at ASIAD 2018 in Indonesia.

Actually, Lan, the last Vietnamese athlete competing in Tokyo, was a bit lucky as she finished fifth in her heat this morning, but was promoted to 4th place as Jamaica’s Leah Nugent, who won 6th place in Rio 2016, was disqualified for infringement, thus giving up the ticket for Monday's semi-finals to the Vietnamese runner.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Lan and her teammates have not been able to practice and compete normally for nearly two years. The Thanh Hoa Province native headed to Japan with a specialist on July 19, but had to practice at the Olympic Village by herself until the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo was opened for practice on July 25.

"The training schedule was turned upside down and the inability to compete in international tournaments has led to the limitations in the expertise of athletes like us," Lan said of the difficulties they had to go through.

With the impressive achievement, Lan has become the first ever Vietnamese runner to reach the semi-finals in the Olympic Games.

She will compete with other 23 runners next Monday, aiming to be in the list of only eight athletes who will progress to the final.

Lan will race against seven others in the first semi-final, scheduled for 18:35 (Hanoi time) on Monday.

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Source: NDO

Olympics, Quach Thi Lan, try her best, Vietnam, first athletics semis, first Vietnamese runner, world's top athletes
 
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