Vietnamese female cyclist Nguyen Thi That, who was taking part in the 2023 Giro d'Italia Donne in Italy, one of the three world-leading tournaments for female racers, got into an accident during the eighth stage of the tournament, which took place on July 8 (Italian time), and had to quit the stage.
That joined the 2023 Giro d'Italia Donne as a member of the Israel-Premier Tech Roland team of Switzerland.
During the seventh leg from Albenga to Alassio, Italy, That raced 198.1 kilometers within three hours, 35 minutes, and 31 seconds to finish at the 90th position out of 167 racers. She ranked 142nd after seven stages.
However, she met with an accident during the eighth stage from Nuoro to Sassari with a length of 125.7 kilometers.
She fell and needed many stitches, Tran Hai Trieu, general secretary of the An Giang Bicycle and Motorcycle Sport Federation, the management agency of That, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Sunday morning.
“It’s a great pity as That was competing hard in a leading cycling tournament for female racers in the world," Trieu said.
She may not participate in the ninth, also the final stage of the tournament.
However, her achievements during the tournament are higher than expected, according to insiders.
“I had the accident during a mountain pass descent, just about 50 kilometers from the finish line," That told Tuoi Tre.
"I was taken to an ambulance right after the crash and could not complete the stage.
“Scratches covered my body.
"There were many serious wounds with the most severe one in my knee requiring over 10 stitches.
“Doctors asked me to take a rest for four weeks. I will stay in Europe for treatment.
“I am proud to be a Vietnamese cyclist in such a large tournament. Stages are full of difficulties for me and my teammates, but I have tried to stand firm to the last with my efforts and perseverance.”
That won the gold medal in the women’s event at the 2023 Asian Road and Para Cycling Championships in Thailand last month to technically qualify her as the first athlete from Vietnam to secure a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics, scheduled to run from July 26 to August 11, 2024.
She would also be the first Vietnamese cyclist in history to participate in the Olympic Games.
This year marks the 34th edition of the Giro d’Italia Donne, which consists of nine stages stretching 928 kilometers.
The race, which began on June 30 and finishes on July 9, sees the participation of 167 cyclists from 24 teams.