Vietnam’s football and swimming might come into focus in 2019, but it is a female runner who was voted by local journalists as the country’s most outstanding athlete of the year.
Nguyen Thi Oanh, 23, outplayed nine other prominent candidates in a poll of nearly 200 sports reporters of newspapers across the country to become the number-one athlete of Vietnam last year.
Oanh topped the list of the ten most outstanding Vietnamese athletes announced after the voting process for the 2019 Athlete of the Year award on Monday morning.
The runner earned 846 points, followed by two young swimmers Nguyen Thi Anh Vien and Nguyen Huy Hoang with 772 and 704 points, respectively.
At the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines, Oanh won three gold medals in the women’s 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase, and 5,000m hurdles events, considered the most difficult categories in athletics.
Notably, she competed 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m hurdles on the same day, breaking the SEA Games record in the former event in 10:00.02.
|Vietnam’s swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien. Photo: Minh Minh / Tuoi Tre|
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Anh Vien was honored with the Female Mega Athlete title for claiming six gold and two silver medals at the 2019 SEA Games.
Teenage swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang won two gold medals and one silver while smashing two SEA Games records in the Philippines.
Hoang also qualified for two swimming categories at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games for his performance in 2019.
As men’s football dominated Vietnam’s sporting moments in 2019, it is no surprise that two footballers, Nguyen Quang Hai and Do Hung Dung, made the top five best athletes in Monday’s voting.
Oanh said after the voting result was announced that she did not think she could win the No.1 position in the poll.
|Vietnam’s 19-year-old swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang. Photo: Minh Minh / Tuoi Tre|
“The title ‘Vietnam’s No.1 Outstanding Athlete of the Year 2019’ is the most precious award that I’ve ever received,” Oanh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
The runner proved her honor was well-deserved especially when she had overcome numerous difficulties, including having been diagnosed with glomerulonephritis in 2014, en route her glory in the Philippines.
The poll to vote for Vietnam’s most excellent athletes and coaches of the year was co-organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Vietnam Olympic Committee, the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, and The Thao Viet Nam (Vietnam Sports) newspaper.
The organizing board cast votes to honor ten athletes, five coaches, five disabled athletes and three disabled coaches.