On the fast track to Games glory

Tran Dinh Son will be 24 when the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) are held in Hanoi in November and December. Expectations are high that he will celebrate this Year of the Buffalo, his “birth year”, with a win in the 400m individual event.

On the fast track to Games glory
WINNING MENTALITY: Tran Dinh Son celebrates Vietnam picking up gold in the 4x400m mixed relay at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines. Photo webthethao.vn

Like many other athletes, Son was recruited to Ha Tinh Province’s track-and-field team after shining at meets when he was still at high school.

“The coaches gave me the right guidance on following a professional sport when I was just 15,” he said. “My family have been really supportive. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to fully focus on training and competing.”

Since his first call up to the national team in 2014, he has become a key member of a 400m squad that has dominated the regional Games over the last four years.

Son doesn’t have the height or physique of his teammates, but his secret weapons are his thunderous sprint and serious attitude on and off the track.

After a hard training session his teammates might post on Facebook or just hang out, but that’s not for Son.

He rarely shares anything on social media except for occasional posts about homesickness or how he misses his girlfriend. The quiet young man prefers to work on his running, then rest, and then work again.

“My task now is training and training only,” he said. “I don’t have time for anything else.”

“I have grown a lot since I joined the team. I changed myself and my thinking, to adjust to the new times. I always look back over what I have done and think of how I could do it better.”

After three years in the national team, he made his SEA Games debut in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.

The then 20-year-old picked up a silver medal with his teammates in the 4x400m relay, finishing behind Thailand in the final. Their time of 3min 07.40sec remains a national record.

In the same year he won the 400m individual gold at the Malaysia Open and later did likewise at the Thailand Open. A year on, gold came his way at Vietnam’s National Sport Games in 2018.

In the last SEA Games in the Philippines, he came second in the 400m individual event after grabbing two golds in the 4x400m men’s relay and the 4x400m mixed relay.

On the fast track to Games glory
FINAL STRETCH: Tran Dinh Son takes the baton from teammate Quach Thi Lan in the 4x400m mixed relay. Photo ngoisao.net

The 4x400m mixed relay gold remains his most cherished memory, as it was the first time the event, featuring two men and two women, was held at the SEA Games. He was in a “dream team” with Nguyen Thi Hang, Tran Nhat Hoang, and Quach Thi Lan.

According to coach Nguyen Thi Bac, Son has the best training record among the relay team members. He has sometimes faced mental issues in competition, but his sprinting is incredible.

His talent was why he was chosen to run the final leg in the Philippines. Taking the baton from third runner Lan, he made use of the lead the others had established to sprint to the finish line, leaving the nearest opponent nearly 10 seconds behind.

 

Their time of 3:19.50 was not only a SEA Games record but also helped the team get closer to qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

Vietnam is currently No 17 in the world, while the 16 best teams secure Olympic slots.

Son and his male teammates had earlier outpaced Thailand to take gold in the men’s 4x400m relay after losing to them in 2017.

“The 30th SEA Games were amazing, but I still regret I didn’t win the individual title,” he said. “I lost to my teammate Hoang, by just 0.12 seconds.” 

Best time to come

“The recent 10-day holiday for the Lunar New Year with the family was a great time for me to relax and restore my energy for what lies ahead.” Son will be one of about 50 athletes preparing for the end-of-year SEA Games.

After returning to the National Sports Training Centre post-holiday, he has given all of his attention to training.

“Apart from Sundays, we work hard every day,” he explained. “We try to improve our physique, speed, and technique. It takes time, and requires determination.

“There is a lot of pressure on us now. We share the target of gold for our country but have to secure our place first. If we don’t perform, we are replaced immediately.

“Every athlete must do their best week-in-week-out. It’s a test of endurance. I tell myself to train as though it’s a competition, and I hope I’m at my peak for the Games.”

He is indeed in good form, after pocketing one gold and one silver at the National Athletics Championship last November.

On the fast track to Games glory
NUMBER 1: Tran Dinh Son (second, right) and his teammates enjoy their win in the 4x400m mixed relay. Photo webthethao.vn

He and his team very much have one eye on the Olympics in the middle of the year. While they will have the opportunity to move up in the rankings prior to June 29, they are more or less in “waiting” mode, because most of the regular meets have been postponed due to COVID-19.

If they were to secure a place at the Olympics, it would be the perfect warm-up for competing in the SEA Games on home soil.

“In the race to the finish line, my family, friends, and coaches are always with me,” he said.

“They give me the support I need to push myself and realise my dream of winning three golds in Hanoi, in both the individual and team events. And Olympic qualification too.”  VNS

Vietnamese athletics eye reign defence at SEA Games 31

Vietnamese athletics eye reign defence at SEA Games 31

In the last two editions of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Vietnam surpassed Thailand to top the overall track and field medal tally. As the host of the 31st SEA Games this year, it is highly feasible for Vietnam to take the supreme honour

 
 

Other News

.
Then Kin Pang festival of Thai ethnic people in Lai Chau
Then Kin Pang festival of Thai ethnic people in Lai Chau
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  25/04/2021 

The Then Kin Pang festival is held annually on the 9th and 10th days of the third lunar month, when thousands of people from Vietnam and overseas flock to Khong Lao commune in Phong Tho district, Lai Chau province in celebration. 

Street art event to be held in HCM City
Street art event to be held in HCM City
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  23/04/2021 

The street art performance “Jam –Vietnam Urban Arts 2021” will take place in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 from April 24-25.

Contest to find new circus talents kicks off
Contest to find new circus talents kicks off
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  23/04/2021 

A contest to find new circus talents nationwide is being organised at the Vietnam National Circus Theatre in Hanoi.

Thai football legend tips HAGL boss to replace coach Park
Thai football legend tips HAGL boss to replace coach Park
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  23/04/2021 

Former Thailand striker Piyapong Pue-on believes Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) coach Kiatisak Senamuang could replace Park Hang-seo as the head coach of the national team in the near future.

Stitch arts for the soul
Stitch arts for the soul
YOUR VIETNAMicon  24/04/2021 

While looking for a new hobby a few years ago, Russian designer Katerina Lamteva, or Kate, came upon embroidery and fell in love with the art instantly.

iMuseum VFA app launched
iMuseum VFA app launched
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  23/04/2021 

The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum (VFA) and Vietnam Mobile Application Software Join Stock Company (VINMAS) on Thursday officially launched the iMuseum VFA app – allowing virtual visits to the museum even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 4,300 runners to compete at Vietnam Trail Marathon in Son La
Nearly 4,300 runners to compete at Vietnam Trail Marathon in Son La
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  23/04/2021 

Nearly 4,300 Vietnamese and foreign runners will race up to 70km on trails through orchards and tea fields in the Vietnam Trail Marathon (VTM) in Moc Chau, Son La province on April 24 after a suspension triggered by COVID-19.

Weightlifter Duyen wins Vietnam's first international medal of year
Weightlifter Duyen wins Vietnam's first international medal of year
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/04/2021 

Hoang Thi Duyen won the first international medal of the year for Vietnamese athletes by finishing third at the Asian Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Monday.

Writer with disability enters Forbes Vietnam’s inspirational women list
Writer with disability enters Forbes Vietnam’s inspirational women list
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/04/2021 

Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa, a writer with a paralysed right arm, has been named in the list of 20 inspirational women in 2021 by the Forbes Vietnam magazine.

Popular poet passes away
Popular poet passes away
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/04/2021 

Popular poet and playwright Hoang Nhuan Cam suddenly passed away on Tuesday afternoon. He was 69.

Vietnam to play friendly match with Jordan
Vietnam to play friendly match with Jordan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/04/2021 

Vietnam will play a friendly match with Jordan on May 31 to prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Photographer depicts beauty of Vietnam’s sea, islands
Photographer depicts beauty of Vietnam’s sea, islands
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  22/04/2021 

Depriving from the love for photography, photographer Gian Thanh Son has depicted the beauty of Vietnamese sea and islands which he has had an opportunity to fly over such as Truong Sa, Phu Quy, Con Dao,

A woman with whistle in hand
A woman with whistle in hand
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  23/04/2021 

Ha Thi Phuong is one of only two female Vietnamese referees to have passed the rigorous physical and rules tests to officiate games in V.League 2 2021, which kicked off last month.

TV filling the void left by cinemas
TV filling the void left by cinemas
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  24/04/2021 

While cinemas are facing problems attracting audiences due to the impact of COVID-19, TV series have started to dominate, with the return of many well-known actors and with a large number of viewers sitting down in front of their TV screens.

Vietnamese street scenes join the LEGO world
Vietnamese street scenes join the LEGO world
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  22/04/2021 

You’d be hard-pressed to find a child anywhere in the world who didn’t grow up playing with LEGO.

Hung Kings worship ritual - Symbol of Vietnam’s culture
Hung Kings worship ritual - Symbol of Vietnam’s culture
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/04/2021 

Hung Kings worship ritual originates from ancestor worship rituals in Vietnamese families and has become a significant cultural festival for the people. 

Chef aspires to bring Vietnamese cuisine to the world
Chef aspires to bring Vietnamese cuisine to the world
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/04/2021 

Ton Ngoc Hiep, who already opened 10 Vietnamese “pho” (noodle soup) restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is planning to bring the brand to the UK and the US.

National Clubs Shooting Championship 2021
National Clubs Shooting Championship 2021
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/04/2021 

The National Clubs Shooting Championship 2021 drew the participation of over 200 athletes from 12 different clubs from across the country.

HBSO presents German romantic night
HBSO presents German romantic night
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  21/04/2021 

The HCMC Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will present a concert of music by Weber and Mendelssohn on Saturday, May 8, in the Saigon Opera House.

SEA Games to be broadcast live on TV and social media sites
SEA Games to be broadcast live on TV and social media sites
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/04/2021 

All events at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) will be broadcast live on television and social media sites, organisers revealed during a meeting in Hanoi on Monday.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN