In 4th grade, Nguyen Thi Oanh was attracted by her sister’s running steps and has since been fascinated by the sport of endurance and speed.

Nguyen Thi Oanh was born in Bac Giang, a land famous for producing many key athletes of athletics, badminton, soccer. Oanh’s student days are like many of his peers, spending most of his time studying and helping parents with housework.

The turning point that brought Oanh’s life to another direction came quite early at the age of 9. The first time she witnessed a proper track and field competition, the elementary school girl immediately glanced at her sister’s running steps down the track. “I don’t have any special interests. But everyone’s cheers and eyes of admiration for her make me wish. I think I can be like that one day,” Oanh recalled.

In My Ha hometown, Lang Giang district, in the sunny afternoons on the hills, Oanh still goes to school day by day. But the 4th grader was now preparing herself for herself – to be a track and field champion.

Nguyen Thi Oanh (pink shirt) on the road running VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight.  Photo: VnExpress Marathon.

Nguyen Thi Oanh (pink shirt) on the road running VnExpress Marathon Hanoi Midnight 2020. Photo: VnExpress Marathon.

Teachers at the school also regularly create favorable conditions for Oanh to attend district and provincial athletics tournaments and win early medals. She quickly revealed the qualities of a promising athlete. Oanh is faster and stronger than his rival in the same age, despite losing in appearance.

There, Oanh caught the eye of the scouts of the Bac Giang sports union. However, her modest height, only about 1m50 and weighing less than 40kg almost made her not selected.

At the age of 15, Nguyen Thi Oanh wrapped her luggage and went to the Bac Giang Gifted Sports School to practice to pursue the path of becoming a professional athlete. “Childish and happy, it took me the first half of the month to get used to a new life. Many times crying because I was homesick,” Oanh recalls.

For several years, Nguyen Thi Oanh is now more mature in terms of both physical and competitive experience. She found her forte of 3,000 meters over obstacles from the 2011 National Youth Award and won a bronze medal. In January 2012, Oanh was called up to the national youth team. A year later, Oanh broke the youth award record in this content with a record of 10 minutes 24 seconds. In 2014, runner-up born in 1995 won a gold medal at the Asian Youth Championship. This is also Oanh’s highest achievement up to that time.

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The idea of ​​success from here will spread for me, then suddenly at the end of that year, Nguyen Thi Oanh had serious health problems. After a silver medal of 3,000m over obstacles won in Myanmar 7 years ago, Oanh “disappeared” from the track and field quite a long time ago.

“It was one day at the end of December 2014, I found my face suddenly got a lot of swelling. Everyone was allergic, but I felt insecure, I knew my body well so I should see a doctor and diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, “Oanh laughed lightly as he repeated the low notes of his career. At its peak, heart and kidney diseases are always haunting any athlete.

“My first thought was retiring. It was difficult to accept that. But after a period of follow-up, I learned that my illness was only early, there was still a chance to cure it,” Oanh said.

She was forced to give up all the awards for a long time thereafter to focus on treatment. “I always think about the difficulties I have been going through over the past five months. Those things motivate me to try, fight and win myself,” said runner born in 1995. Oanh’s track and field career was discontinued for the first time. She left the track for almost a year.

For professional athletes, getting back on track after events has never been easy. Nguyen Thi Oanh perseveres with recovery exercises to regain her peak feeling. She also changed herself to get used to the new content, not tied to a single medal.

Three years later, at the 2017 SEA Games, the forte of the Bac Giang runner 3,000 meters to overcome obstacles was suddenly canceled at the last minute because there were not enough athletes. Oanh must move to play 1,500 m. Shorter distances require good height and speed, which are not forte. Only in a short time the coaching staff had to change exercises dizzying, focusing on improving speed and tolerating rare environments. In response to this effort, Nguyen Thi Oanh excelled at bringing home the gold medal.

Coach Tran Van Sy, Oanh’s close teacher in the national team, has shared many admiration for her students’ energies. Oanh knows very well his body problems to coordinate with the training team. When they just healed, both teachers and students had to practice practice step by step because they were afraid of the signs after their illness. Fortunately, the Bac Giang girl soon found the feeling of a champion.

Nguyen Thi Oanh won three gold medals and broke a record of the SEA Games.  Photo: Pham Duong.

Nguyen Thi Oanh won three gold medals and broke a record of the SEA Games. Image: Pham Duong.

At the 30th SEA Games, the golden girl of the sport resonated with 3 gold medals at a distance of 1,500 m and 5,000 m and broke the record in the forte content of 3,000 m overcoming obstacles.

That year, Nguyen Thi Oanh was voted as the typical athlete of Vietnamese sports.

“To achieve a good performance, I always keep my will, energy, find for myself the motivation to move forward. I think no matter what I do, in adversity I always have to find a positive. Never intended to stop, whether on the run or in life, “said Nguyen Thi Oanh.

In addition to her achievements in the international arena, the Bac Giang girl also enjoyed participating in marathon movements across the country. Thanks to that, she can travel many places, meet many people and do many meaningful things. The atmosphere was exciting, the number of athletes was thousands of people giving Oanh a comfortable and happy feeling to greet each other. In movement athletes, she also learned the determination and rise.

“The spirit that people create helps me relieve the pressure after intense play. I feel more than just a race,” said Oanh.

With VnExpress Marathon, Oanh’s favorite distance is 21 km. Oanh is the 21 km female champion in the two tournaments VM Quy Nhon and Hanoi Midnight in 2020. She said she never ran 42 km because the distance was too long, while she needed to devote energy to the events of the team. . Every award had Oanh attended, people often joked that he always gave the cup to her because Oanh never finished runner-up.

According to Oanh, the greatest happiness he has received is that he has more and more friends with the same passion. They admired her partly because of her impressive achievements, partly because of timidness and nature in communication.

Oanh spends time with friends and family after a workout.  Photo: FBNV.

Oanh spends time with friends and family after a workout. Image: FBNV.

The professional athlete’s environment doesn’t have too many options. Nguyen Thi Oanh spends all of the day practicing. This time, due to the influence of Covid-19, postponement or cancellation gives Oanh the opportunity to do more for himself. Oanh wants to improve her foreign language, because in foreign competitions, often using English, she wants to interact with international fans and athletes.

If you retire from the top competitive career, the intention of running Bac Giang is to do training. At home, Oanh is the idol of many young athletes. She hopes to inspire her juniors, to continue to bring the medals back to her home country.

Thanh Duong

VnExpress Marathon is a large-scale running tournament system taking place in Hanoi, Ha Long and Quy Nhon.

VnExpress Quy Nhon Marathon will take place on June 6, the peak season of Quy Nhon – Phu Yen tourism. Athletes can combine the tournament with jogging and travel with family and relatives. Tens of thousands of people came to this central coastal city during the tournament.

VnExpress Hanoi Midnight started at midnight on November 20, in the typical winter cold of the capital. Historic landmarks and famous trails will appear under the athlete’s footsteps.

VnExpress Marathon Amazing Halong kicked off on August 1, in the tourist city of Ha Long, Quang Ninh. Held in the coastal city for the first time, the tournament promises to bring new experiences to athletes across the country. The seaside track is a favorite place for large groups in the North.


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