Vietnamese cyclist Nguyen Thi That won a gold medal at the Asian Road Cycling Championship in Tajikistan on March 29.
The national No 1 cyclist finished first in the women’s elite 111km road race clocking a time of 3 hours 11.37min on the last day of the five-day tournament in Dushanbe city.
Vietnamese cyclist Nguyen Thi That.
Vietnamese riders were among 40 competitors in the starting line. They were not considered a title favourite as they were up against powerful athletes from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and the host nation.
However, That received strong support from teammates, Nguyen Thi Thi, Nguyen Thi Thu Mai and Bui Thi Quynh to join the leading peloton from the opening kilometres.
The Kazakhstani cyclists tried to push the race speed high to separate from the bunch but their efforts failed to leave the Vietnamese racers behind.
That, who competed for the Belgium Lotto Soudal Ladies Club for two years, met no difficulty to catch up with the pace and remained in the middle of the pack. With just 300 metres left to the finish, That made her move to leave all four Kazakhstani riders behind and snatch the title.
Uzmutzhanova Makhabbat and Slovyea Anshela came second and third, respectively.
It is the second time that the Vietnamese, who turned 29 earlier this month, championed at a continental tournament.
Her first time was in 2018 before she signed a contract with Lotto Soudal Ladies.
That’s medal is the second of Vietnam at the tournament.
Earlier, Nguyen Thi Be Hong secured a bronze in the junior women’s individual time trial 15km event on March 26.
The 17-year-old was third with a time of 21.57 minutes behind cyclists Anna Kuskova of Uzbekistan (20.06) and Dariua Kazakbay of Kazakhstan (20.54).
It was the first time that Hong took part in a continental event.
After the Dushanbe event, An Giang province-born That will return home and train for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in May.
Cycling will be held in Hoa Binh province with 12 events in road races from May 19-22 and mountain biking from May 14-17.
Athletes will have a 10-day training period at the competition venue to get familiar with the weather and racing route.