Boxing coach Thanh can’t wait to face Olympic challenge

After about 16 years in and around the sport, Thanh has made many ‘firsts’ and the national head coach is looking for more challenges.

Coach Đinh Phương Thanh (centre, first row) and her boxers at the 30th Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines last year. — Photo webthethao.vn

It's fair to say coach Đinh Phương Thanh has experienced a lot in her boxing career, everything from gold glory to doping shame.

After about 16 years in and around the sport, Thanh has made many ‘firsts’ and the national head coach is looking for more challenges.

Thanh was one of the first female boxers in Việt Nam when the boxing department established in the country in 2004.

At that time, the Hanoian 16-year-old was practising the sanshou form of the martial art wushu and had no love for boxing.

“Sanshou allowed me to attack with both hands and feet, meanwhile in boxing, only hands were possible. I was so bored that I asked to return to the sanshou team but was refused,” said Thanh.

“It was really boring when you are doing what you don't like. It was even more terrible when you faced many injuries and losses in competitions that challenged your career. I wanted to quit many times.”

However, during nearly the first seven years in boxing, Thanh dominated with seven gold medals in her 60kg category.

“It is because of my competitiveness. I could not stand behind others who had the same training exercises and nutrition regime as me,” she said.

She was called up to the national team in 2005 and took part in the 23rd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines where she secured a bronze.

Earlier in that year, Thanh was the first woman of Việt Nam to win a continental medal at the Asian championship in Chinese Taipei.

“It was my international debut. An 18-year-old in the ring with no experience, but with worry and fear. But I made it,” said Thanh.

“And that first push out to the world encouraged me and gave me more energy for better results.”

Shortly after her first taste of glory though, Thanh swiftly fell from grace.

At the 2007 Southeast Asian Games in Thailand, Thanh grabbed a bronze medal. However, she tested positive for a banned substance, her medal was rescinded and she was banned from boxing for two years.

“It was a shameful experience that I would never forget. It likes a ‘scar’ in my career,” said Thanh, who said she took the banned diuretic to cut her weight before competition.

“I asked to retire but my Hà Nội boxing team coaches and teammates encouraged me a lot, then I stayed with the team, trained harder and helped to coach the young athletes,” said Thanh.

 

She never returned to top-level competition and retired in 2011.

Coach Đinh Phương Thanh (right) trains with her athlete at the National Sports Training Centre in Hà Nội. — Photo webthethao.vn

Two years later, Thanh decided to get into coaching as she missed the sweet science so much.

She took part in courses for boxing management and received a certificate as an international coach to run the national junior women’s team, then the national women’s team.

Thanh was appointed head coach of the national men’s team in early 2019, making her the first and only woman to coach a men's boxing team in Asia.

“Yes, I am the sole one in the continent. It was not easy to make people believe in me in the first days because they did not think a woman could do a ‘man’s job’,” Thanh told Việt Nam News yesterday.

“But I worked really hard and seriously. I tried to learn from my senior and foreign colleagues and treat the athletes like a friend or a sibling.

“I also shared my experience of competing and doping with them to make sure that they would not make the same mistakes,” she said.

Under Thanh, Vietnamese male boxers won four golds and one silver at last December’s SEA Games in the Philippines.

And for the first time in history, her athlete Nguyễn Văn Đương secured a berth in the Tokyo Olympics early this month, marking a turning point for Việt Nam’s boxing.

“I was really confused at the time. It was happy, exciting, surprising and proud at the same time,” said Thanh about Đương’s 47-second knock-out of Thailand’s Chatchai-decha Butdee in the men’s featherweight category in a qualification tournament in Jordan.

“Butdee is a regional legend who beat Đương in all of their previous meets. But anyone has his own weakness and we did find it and punched on it to win.”

With the victory, Thanh will be the first Vietnamese boxing coach to take part in an Olympics although it has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have many things to do in the next year. Đương and I will have to work out an overall plan for that big event. He will have to train hard, fix his weaknesses and take part in international competitions. We will be very busy but I can’t wait for that challenge,” said Thanh. — VNS

Thanh Ha

Duong opens new chapter for Vietnamese boxing

Duong opens new chapter for Vietnamese boxing

Vietnam has waited more than three decades to see a Vietnamese fighter qualify for an Olympics and Nguyen Van Duong ended the drought after he secured a Tokyo Olympic slot at the Asia/Oceania Olympic boxing qualifying tournament.  

Local boxer Van Hai to compete for WBC belt in May

Local boxer Van Hai to compete for WBC belt in May

Vietnamese boxer Nguyen Van Hai is scheduled to fight for the World Boxing Council (WBC) belt in a Victory 8 event which is scheduled to take place in the Philippines on May 9.

 
 

Other News

.
Organic mushroom grower finding stable customers
Organic mushroom grower finding stable customers
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

Nguyen Anh Vo, CEO of Nấm Xanh (Green Mushroom) Farm, has applied his school knowledge to find a stable consumption market. 

Service providers in Vietnam quickly adapt to COVID-19 pandemic
Service providers in Vietnam quickly adapt to COVID-19 pandemic
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

Virtual kitchen, tech fitness at home and others are among the business models going online during the stay-at-home period.

Shifting to medical face masks not very fruitful on long term
Shifting to medical face masks not very fruitful on long term
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

Switching to face mask production may not yield long-term benefits as the COVID-19 pandemic should last no more than two years based on previous epidemics.

EVFTA remains guiding light in mitigating trade depletion
EVFTA remains guiding light in mitigating trade depletion
FEATUREicon  13/04/2020 

The European Union entry ban on its wide borders comes in a crucial year for Vietnamese exporters to the EU, leading to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement to become ever more important for both sides in the year to come.    

World watches as China moves ahead on economic chessboard
World watches as China moves ahead on economic chessboard
FEATUREicon  13/04/2020 

China is beginning to offer a glimpse into the near future for some countries, as the economic superpower tries to pick itself back up slowly following major lockdowns in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Grounds for new hope to unfreeze FDI process
Grounds for new hope to unfreeze FDI process
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

Vietnam’s foreign investment picture in the first quarter of 2020 showed the hardest downtrend in over a decade since the 2003 SARS pandemic, as the current coronavirus continues to thrash manufacturing, real estate, retail, services, and tourism.

Vietnam stands to win as “China+1” gains traction
Vietnam stands to win as “China+1” gains traction
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

Changes in the global supply chain are taking place due to the virus outbreak, prompting a mounting number of foreign manufacturers to speed up their relocation from China to neighbouring countries including Vietnam.

Invigorating investors with PPP draft
Invigorating investors with PPP draft
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

The Ministry of Planning and Investment has released the latest draft Law on Public-Private Partnerships in a move to make a fresh shift towards a specific and consolidated framework for bankable projects.

One-legged professional martial artist inspires students
One-legged professional martial artist inspires students
FEATUREicon  12/04/2020 

If you spend the morning exercising in Tao Dan Park in the centre of HCM City, you may come across an unusual yet inspiring sight: a fit Vietnamese man with one leg practising martial arts. 

Women can realise the dream to fly
Women can realise the dream to fly
FEATUREicon  13/04/2020 

Meeting Ha Thu Huong, very few people would think the pretty woman with a gentle voice is the co-pilot on a Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321. Her energetic style and friendly manner both add to the equation.

Women with strong wills
Women with strong wills
FEATUREicon  14/04/2020 

They are beautiful, emotional and vulnerable like other women. Yet their strong determination and bravery have made them special, and given the assets they need to fulfill heavy tasks usually associated with men.

Thu Nhi to become Vietnam’s first world boxing champion
Thu Nhi to become Vietnam’s first world boxing champion
FEATUREicon  11/04/2020 

Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi bounces back and forth, landing punches at will. She bobs and weaves to avoid her opponent, and then finishes up with running and skipping.

V.League 1's top strikers over last 20 years
V.League 1's top strikers over last 20 years
FEATUREicon  11/04/2020 

During its 20-year history, some top strikers have graced the V.League 1 with their talents, with many going on to win the Golden Boot.

Six moments of genius from football star Quang Hai
Six moments of genius from football star Quang Hai
FEATUREicon  08/04/2020 

With the COVID-19 pandemic taking football off our screens, what better time for a reminder of some of his best pieces of genius?

Artist brightens sick kids' days with paintings
Artist brightens sick kids' days with paintings
FEATUREicon  11/04/2020 

Many people in the central province of Quang Tri may know Truong Dinh Dung as a charitable man, but they may not know he's also an accomplished artist.

Tech retailers manage to survive COVID-19 pandemic
Tech retailers manage to survive COVID-19 pandemic
FEATUREicon  08/04/2020 

Many retailers in phone and electronics segments focus on developing online channels to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

All winners in the history of the Voice of Vietnam
All winners in the history of the Voice of Vietnam
FEATUREicon  06/04/2020 

Since it started in 2012, six singers have won the top prize in the reality TV show, The Voice of Vietnam. Do you have a favourite winner? Here’s a recap of all the successful singers since the show started.

12 shining examples of VN volunteering and acts of kindness in the COVID-19 pandemic
12 shining examples of VN volunteering and acts of kindness in the COVID-19 pandemic
FEATUREicon  06/04/2020 

Times of crisis can often bring out the best in people. As the COVID-19 situation becomes more and more complicated in Vietnam, many have stepped up to help doctors and their communities, any way they can. 

Global pharma groups push on with operations
Global pharma groups push on with operations
FEATUREicon  06/04/2020 

Despite having risk management solutions to ensure drug import continuity to Vietnam in response to EU border closures, international pharma giants Sanofi, Zuellig Pharma, Adamed, and Novartis are closely monitoring the situation

Tourism industry calls for relief measures as coronavirus shuts down travel
Tourism industry calls for relief measures as coronavirus shuts down travel
FEATUREicon  03/04/2020 

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has severely affected many industries, but tourism is arguably one of the hardest hit.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN