Swimming in Vietnam is unlikely to have a chance to compete for a medal at the Olympics, but swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang can aim for the first time in the final in Tokyo 2021.

21-year-old swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang can become Vietnam's first swimmer to reach the Olympic final.  Photo: Pham Duong

21-year-old swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang can become Vietnam’s first swimmer to reach the Olympic final. Image: Pham Duong.

Swimming and athletics are two sports that Vietnam has participated in every Olympic Games since 1988. But, Vietnamese swimmers have never qualified for the semi-finals or finals. The best achievement of Vietnamese swimming is Nguyen Thi Anh Vien’s ninth place in the heat lap in the women’s 400m medley, when she is only 0.31 seconds away from the final.

Anh Vien is not expected much in Tokyo 2021, when attending two events that are not her forte, 200m and 800m freestyle. The recent achievements of Anh Vien in this content are much inferior to the personal record, as well as the level of Olympic athletes.

Huy Hoang emerged as the biggest opportunity to swim Vietnam for the first time through Olympic qualifying, when he won the A standard to go straight to the Olympics in the 800m and 1500m freestyle. The swimmer with the nickname “Ganh River Otter” also has a B standard at 200m and 400m freestyle. He will register for all four of these events, and is also the Vietnamese athlete to participate in the most events in the history of an Olympic Games.

*Hui Hoang’s achievements in freestyle swimming events

Distance Nearest Average of the last three awards Personal record Achievements through the Olympic heat round 2016
200m 1:49.99 1:54.45 1:49.99 (October 2020) 1:47.19
400m 3:49.97 3:50.52 3:48.85 (October 2018) 3:45.43
800m 7:57.17 7:55.68 7:50,20 (October 2018) This content does not exist
1500m 15:09.79 15:03.43 14:58,14 (December 2019) 14:55.40

The chances for Huy Hoang in the 200m and 400m freestyle are not high, although his performance has improved significantly recently. These events are held on different dates, so you can still attend all four events.

In the 800m freestyle, Huy Hoang won the 2018 Youth Olympic gold medal in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and set a national record of 7 minutes 50.20 seconds. His performance has dropped in recent times, averaging 7 minutes 55.68 seconds in the last three tournaments. The 2016 Olympics did not have this content, and at the 2019 world tournament, the last place to overcome the heat round was 7 minutes 48.12 seconds. To compete for the final spot in this content, Huy Hoang will almost have to break his personal record. But, his latest achievement in the national tournament on October 19, 2020 was only 7 minutes 57.17 seconds.

Huy Hoang will also have to break a personal record to have the opportunity to enter the final 1500m freestyle. The final place in this content in Rio 2016 reached 14 minutes 55.40 seconds. And Huy Hoang’s latest achievement in the national tournament was only 15 minutes 09.79 seconds. His recent results tend to decrease, while other swimmers are increasingly shortening their achievements.

But, the national award is not an appropriate measure to assess Huy Hoang’s true ability, when he only needs to achieve enough results to win a gold medal. Not playing for months before because of Covid-19 could also affect him.

According to Mr. Dinh Viet Hung – General Secretary of the Vietnam Aquatics Association, Huy Hoang has the opportunity to enter the top 5 in the 800m and 1500m freestyle events.. “The coaches said that if Huy Hoang has the ability to achieve a result of about 14 minutes and 55 seconds in the 1500m content,” Hung said. VnExpress. “Olympic 2021 and Asiad 2022 are two tournaments that Huy Hoang strives for the best possible results.”

Mr. Hung also pointed out that the ban of Chinese fisherman Sun Yang (Ton Duong) also helped Huy Hoang eliminate an opponent. “Gianh River Otter” is also 21 years old, and has plenty of room for improvement, while most of the top 800m and 1500m swimmers are already 26 years old.

Huy Hoang will start in the heat round of 400m freestyle on 24/7, then 200m freestyle one day. On July 27, Huy Hoang swam 800m in heat, and on July 30th he attended the last 1500m content. The top eight heat players will advance to the finals. Particularly for the 200m freestyle content, the top 16 heat players will enter the semi-finals.

Xuan Binh

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