Quach Thi Lan can become the first Vietnamese athlete to reach the Olympic semi-finals if she maintains her form as in the past few years.

Of the 41 athletes participating in the women’s 400m hurdles in Tokyo 2021, there are two Asian athletes, Aminat Yusuf Jamal and Quach Thi Lan. Aminat is a Bahraini but of Nigerian origin, only Lan is an Asian athlete. Runner Thanh Hoa is the only representative of Vietnamese athletics at Tokyo 2021.

Athletics or swimming, the two sports with the most Olympic medals, are not suitable for Asians, not only Vietnam. At Rio 2016, Asia won only three of the 47 gold medals in athletics. In which, there is a gold medal belonging to the Kenyan-born athlete of Bahrain, and two gold medals still come in the walking content. That’s why Lan is the reigning Asiad champion, but was only selected to Tokyo 2021 thanks to a wildcard.

Quach Thi Lan is the defending Asian champion in the women's 400m hurdles, but is still far behind the top Olympic runners.  This content world record was just broken by Sydney McLaughlin on June 27 with a time of 51.90 seconds.  Photo: AAC

Quach Thi Lan is the defending Asian champion in the women’s 400m hurdles, but is still far behind the top Olympic runners. This content world record was just broken by Sydney McLaughlin on June 27 with a time of 51.90 seconds. Image: AAC

In the history of Vietnamese athletics, only one athlete passed the first qualifying round (heat round) at the Olympics, that is Vu Thi Huong in the women’s 100m event in Beijing 2008. Huong achieved 11.65 seconds and entered the race. quarterfinals, before being eliminated.

The women’s 400m hurdles runners in Tokyo will compete for 24 places in the semi-finals, divided into three competitions. From there, eight high-performance runners will advance to the finals. Reaching the final may be a goal beyond Lan’s reach, but the semi-final spot is within reach of Thanh Hoa’s original runners.

*Qualifications of Quach Thi Lan compared to the next places in the Olympics and World Championships. Unit: seconds

content Nearest The last three prizes Personal record Via heat Rio 2016 Finalist Rio 2016 Through the heat of World Championships 2019 Finals of World Championships 2019
400m fence 55.98 55.78 55.30 56.61 54.99 56.37 54.52

In the previous three Olympics, the achievement enough to get through the women’s 400m hurdles heat was 56.37, 56.47 and 56.61 seconds, respectively. These milestones are within Lan’s ability.

Lan’s latest achievement is 55.98 seconds, in the national tournament in November 2020 in Hanoi. The personal record of the 26-year-old runner is 55.30 seconds at the 2018 Asiad in Jakarta, Indonesia, helping her win a gold medal. In 2019, she again won the Asian championship with a time of 56.10 seconds, surpassing Aminat herself.

Even if she can break her personal record and drag the result down to 54 seconds, Lan has hope of reaching the final. The last time an Asian athlete reached the final of the women’s 400m hurdles was PT Usha of India in Los Angeles in 1984. The last time an Asian athlete reached the semifinals of this event was Satomi Kubokura of Japan in Beijing 2008.

Lan will also take on the important task of holding the flag with swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang for the Vietnamese sports delegation at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on July 23. She will compete in the women’s 400m hurdles qualifying round at 7:00 am on Saturday, July 31, Hanoi time.

Xuan Binh


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