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Yen gets the nod for Olympic wild card

VGP – Vietnamese teenager Tran Thi Nhi Yen will make her debut at the global largest sporting event, Paris Olympics, next month after receiving a wildcard from the World Athletics.

July 05, 2024 9:52 PM GMT+7
Yen gets the nod for Olympic wild card- Ảnh 1.

Tran Thi Nhi Yen (second, left) is believed to bring Viet Nam to international tournament’s top three.

Yen, who will be 19 on July 9, has been confirmed Viet Nam's representative in the 100m event at the July 26-Aug 11.

As Viet Nam does not have any runner officially qualified for the Games, the country is allowed to nominate maximally three male/female athletes, who have to meet the World Athletics' requirements, to compete in the 100m, 800m and marathon events.

Yen is the only Vietnamese who meet the demands as she took part in five required tournaments over the period of July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.

She is the 16th players of Viet Nam joining the world strongest athletes at the Paris Games.

Born to run

Yen's turning point came in 2022 when she won 100m gold at the National Sports Games, leaving many title-favourite runners behind.

She was called to the national team and believed a potential runner in the short-distance classes.

She pocketed 100m bronze and 200m silver at the 32nd SEA Games 2023 and surprisingly advanced to finals of the 19th Asian Games and the Asian Athletics Championships in her debut.

In April, she took part in the Asian Youth Athletics Championships and brought home two silvers in her strong categories. The results gave her a place to run at the World Youth Athletics Championships which will be held in August in Peru.

"The competition pressure motivates me to practice hard and achieve the best results," said Yen.

"I have to thank my family, coaches and teammates for accompanying me in my career." 

Great potential runner

Coach Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, who produced Viet Nam's 200m SEA Games winner Le Tu Chinh, was in charge of training Yen for about two years. She said Yen was quiet but an emotional girl. She was a disciplined runner in either training or competing.

"In term of development ability, I believe that Yen can improve her speed and skills to go far in career," said Huong.

"At her same age, Chinh ran really well but her ability and physical strength were not as good as Yen. My runner is kind of person who is willing to learn and share with coaches and senior teammates," said Huong, adding that Yen even ran better the 'sprinting queen' Vu Thi Huong.

Viet Nam Athletics Federation General Secretary Nguyen Manh Hung said there was an opinion that a young runner would be overwhelmed when taking part in such a huge event like the Olympics.

"It is not really right. Many cases proved that after such key tournament, they have accumulated more confidence to develop well. We believe that Yen is one of them. Her iron mind (and ability) persuades sport managers and her coaches to fill her names in international competitions," Hung said.

He added that Yen was selected as one of athletes who would receive strong support to win at the SEA Games; advance to top three at the Asian Games; and have an official spot at the next Olympics.

Yen knew where she was as saying there was still a big gap between her and the continental leading runners. She needed to improve her abilities and bring into play her potential and strong points.

"I want to shorten my time and go beyond my limit so that one day I can get high results in competitions," Yen said./.