Thao wins historic gold medal at ASIAD

09:46 | 28/08/2018

Vietnamese long jumper Bui Thi Thu Thao won a gold medal in the Asian Games (ASIAD) 2018 in Indonesia on Monday.

thao wins historic gold medal at asiad
Gold medalist Bui Thi Thu Thao (middle) of Vietnam, silver medalist Neena Varakil (left) of India and bronze medalist Xu Xiaoling of China react during the awards ceremony after the women’s long jump final of athletics at the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia on Monday. - Xinhua Photo

It is the first gold medal for Vietnam’s track-and-field team at any Asian Games.

Thao’s jump of 6.55m surpassed Neena Varakil of India, who took silver with 6.51m, and Xiaoling Xu of China, who won bronze with 6.50m.

Meanwhile, ASIAD 2014 champion, Maria Londa of Indonesia struggled, slumping to fifth place with 6.45m.

Four years ago, at the Asian event in Incheon, South Korea, Londa overcame Thao to take gold with 6.55m, while Thao settled for silver with 6.44m.

Thao’s personal best in the women’s long jump is 6.68m, which she achieved at the SEA Games last year. At the 2018 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Tehran, Iran in February, Thao brought home a gold medal with 6.2m.

According to Thao, her husband’s love is a driving force for her to compete and before heading to Indonesia she wished she would take a gold medal to give to her husband, Lê Văn Tiến.

“I was very confident to compete today. Before competing, I posted a photo holding the national flag to drive me to victory on Facebook. I tried my best to have my dream become true. I thanked my coaches, family, friends and fans very much,” said Thao.

According to Dương Đức Thuỷ, head of athletics section of the National Sports Administration, Thao’s result is a fruit for her efforts.

Thao’s victory is all the more impressive when considering she was born in a poor family in Hà Nội’s mountainous district of Ba Vì. As a child, she used to help her parents bind bricks and grow rice.

Thao’s gold medal is Vietnam’s second in this edition of the continental sports event.

Earlier, Vietnamese rowers secured the country’s first gold medal in the women’s lightweight quadruple sculls event in a time of 7:01.11, 3.27 seconds faster than the Iranian runners-up and 5.11 seconds faster than bronze medalists South Korea.

Following Thao’s result, Voice of Vietnam immediately awarded her VNĐ100 million (US$4,350).

In the woman’s 400m hurdle, Quach Thi Lan won silver medal with a time of 55.30secs. Oluwakemi Adekoya of Bahrain took gold with a time of 54.48secs. Another Bahrain athlete, Aminat Jamal bagged bronze after clocking a time of 55.65secs.

In pencak silat, Vietnamese martial artists brought home three silver medals.

Nguyen Ngoc Toan lost to Pratama Iqbal Candra of Indonesia 1-4 in the men’s final of 60-65kg category, while duo Tran Duc Danh and Le Hong Quan also won silver in the men’s doubles’ performance. The gold medal went to the Indonesian team, while the Malaysian team claimed bronze.

In the men’s trio performance, Vu Tien Dung, Nguyen Xuan Thanh and Lưu Văn Nam brought home another silver medal after losing to Indonesia in the final.

With two gold medals, 11 silvers and 13 bronzes, Vietnam have risen to 20th in the medal table.

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