Two Vietnamese, a doctor and a blue-collar worker, will be competing at the prestigious 2020 Boston Marathon, becoming only the second and third amateur runners of the Southeast Asian country to be present at the world’s oldest annual long-distance race.
The two runners, Dinh Huynh Linh and Nguyen Tien Hung, received separate emails confirming their entries into the race were accepted on Wednesday.
One of the world's best-known road racing events, the 2020 Boston Marathon will be hosted by several cities in greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts in April 2020.
Linh, a doctor working at Vietnam National Heart Institute, was confirmed eligible for the race after reaching the finishing line of the Seoul Marathon 2019 with a time of 2:56.18 on March 17.
In the meantime, Hung, who works at a military factory in the northern province of Phu Tho, qualified after he won Vietnam’s Longbien Marathon 2018 with a time of 2:43.06.
Both of their performances exceed the 3:05.00 time standard of the men’s 35-39 age group at 2020 Boston Marathon.
The Vietnamese amateur marathoners were extremely happy to have made it to Boston and are both drawing a practice plan to prepare for the competition, they told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.
|Nguyen Tien Hung runs at a marathon event in this photo uploaded on his Facebook account
Before Linh and Hung, Nguyen Linh Chi, who works as director of a media group in Vietnam, became the first Vietnamese woman ever to run in Boston, as she won a ticket to the 2019 race last April.
To qualify for the Boston Marathon, a runner must meet time standards corresponding to their age and gender, according to the Boston Athletic Association.
Qualifying times must be completed during an outdoor marathon accredited by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) or the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Many Vietnamese runners were able to meet the time standards but did not qualify for the Boston Marathon as their records were earned at events not accredited by either the AIMS or IAAF.
In Vietnam, the Longbien Marathon, taking in place in Hanoi, is among only a few AIMS-IAAF accredited races.
The organizer of the Long Bien Marathon said that they will sponsor Nguyen Tien Hung’s airfare to Boston next April.