Vietnamese track-and-field queen Quach Thi Lan claimed the first gold medal for Team Vietnam at the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships in Doha after finishing first in the women’s 400m hurdles event on Monday evening.
Lan beat seven other athletes to be the first to reach the finish line, clocking 56.10 seconds, her best so far in 2019.
Aminat Yusuf from Bahrain came second at 56.39 seconds, while Indian sprinter Saritaben Gayakwad won the bronze medal in 57.22 seconds.
The 23rd edition of the quadrennial Asian Athletics Championships is taking place in Doha, Qatar from April 21 to 24.
The 12-member Vietnamese team consists of the country’s top track-and-field athletes including Quach Thi Lan, Le Tu Chinh, and Nguyen Thi Oanh.
Results at the event are counted as qualifying marks for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Despite winning the gold medal, Lan’s result of 56.10 seconds was slower than the 55.40-second mark.
Lan thus will have to improve her performances in the upcoming tournaments that are calculated in the qualification system for the Games in Japan next summer, including the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines later this year.