return icon Vietnamnet.vn

Record breaking Nguyen sets sights on SEA gold

Tran Hung Nguyen is getting used to that winning feeling.

 

He may only be 18-years-old, but Nguyen is already a regular record breaker after making a big splash in the swimming pool.

And now he’s setting his sights on more medal glory at the SEA Games expected to be held in Hanoi in May.

{keywords}
GOLD HOPE: Tran Hung Nguyen swims in the 2019 SEA Games. Nguyen prepares to defend two titles at the event in Hanoi next May. Photo zing.vn

Last week at the World Swimming Championship in the UAE, he set a new national record at the 200m backstroke event.

His time of 1min 56.44sec may not have been enough to qualify for the finals, but it did smash the previous national record set by Tran Duy Khoi in 2016 by more than a second.

It is his fourth record in three years since joining the national team in 2019.

"I was surprised to beat this record that has existed for six years," Nguyen told Việt Nam News.

"I am happy and excited to have chance to swim again after nearly two years being locked down domestically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Coming to the UAE, I just told myself to swim fast and better my personal best. This was better than my expectations." 

Swimming prodigy

Nguyen is quickly making a name for himself in the pool.

At the 2018 Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championship, the previously unknown athlete turned heads when he collected 18 golds, one silver and one bronze.

A year later, he competed at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games winning two golds and two bronzes, setting two national and one Games record along the way.

“I could not believe I won because it was my first SEA Games," Nguyen recalled.

"I have taken part in international junior competitions but to compete at the SEA Games was unbelievable. I tried to keep calm and did not want people to see my legs shaking on the start block.

"I did not have any tactics at all. As a newbie, I was really worried I could not make the finals so I swam with all my best efforts in the qualification."

{keywords}
Tran Hung Nguyen competes at the National Swimming Championship in Hue in April. Nguyen won six golds, six silvers and two bronzes. Photo courtesy of Tran Hung Nguyen

After qualifying for the 200m individual medley (IM) final, Nguyen stepped up his game, winning the race with a time of 2:02.56, nearly three seconds faster than in the qualifier earning him gold and a new national record.

And all this when he was just 16 years old.

Three days later, the young swimmer earned another gold in the 400m IM and set a Games and national record with a time of 4:20.65.

Nguyen was born in 2003 in the central province of Quang Binh to a poor family with three siblings.

He was spotted at an early age by coach Truong Ngoc Tuan, a former SEA Games silver medallist.

Tuan brought him to the National Defense 5 Sport Training Centre in HCM City when he was 10.

After three years, Nguyen became 400m and 1,500m freestyle champion of the Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championship's 13-year-old group.

He then dominated the junior championships until the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.

But to achieve his remarkable success at an early age needed lots of hard work.  

"I did not know how to swim and swallowed a lot of water in first weeks in the pool. But I got better gradually and coaches appreciated my abilities," said Nguyen.

"Home sickness was another problem with me. But coaches encouraged me, telling me that only by swimming well and winning medals I could support my family. Over time, I also got used to being independent."

After several years of swimming, Nguyen can now help his family, sending his bonuses home to help his parents improve their living conditions. 

He is also getting into the habit of setting records annually.

Last year, he beat his own 400m IM record set at the SEA Games with a time of 4:20.63.

"Nguyen is a hard working athlete. He is quiet but energetic. These characteristics are really good for sports like swimming," said national team coach Hoang Vu.

"Nguyen is very strong in the individual medley but he also has potential in some other categories and is ready to compete for golds."

{keywords}
Tran Hung Nguyen celebrates after winning a gold at the National Swimming Championship in Hue in April. Photo courtesy of Tran Hung Nguyen

Nguyen's 200m backstroke national record this year proved what his coach said.

His time was much better than the previous record of 2:00.06 that Singaporean Quah Zheng Wen set two years ago.

"I practise as much as possible to improve my ability every day,” said Nguyen.

“I spent time to research and watch my rivals to find the best tactics against them. It was reason how I won in my events.

"At the SEA Games, I will have to defend my titles in the medley events. And I hope to win medals in backstroke categories.

"I also have further dreams, earning a place in the Olympics. There are two years to the Paris Games. I will work to qualify in medley events which are my strong points." 

Source: Vietnam News

Tran Hung Nguyen – A promising talent of Vietnamese swimming

Tran Hung Nguyen – A promising talent of Vietnamese swimming

On his debut at the Southeast Asian Games arena last year, 16-year-old Tran Hung Nguyen stunned everyone by overcoming many tough competitors to seize two gold medals and break one record.

Vietnamese swimmers to train in Hungary for SEA Games and ASIAD

Vietnamese swimmers to train in Hungary for SEA Games and ASIAD

The Vietnamese national swimming team will leave for Hungary on November 1 to train for the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and 19th Asian Games (ASIAD).

MORE NEWS

Upgrading the market for the sake of all participants

An upgrade to emerging status will not only help the stock market develop quickly, transparently and sustainably, but also attract huge foreign capital inflows, said experts.

Highlights from Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's tour to U.S.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has arrived in Hanoi, wrapping up his tour to the U.S. to attended the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit and visit the U.S. and the United Nations from May 11-17.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES MAY 23

Vietheart Summer Camp 2022 to be held in Czech Republic

Love is in the air at sporting tournament

With the SEA Games 31 nearly at an end, people have been through every level of emotion, from historic wins to inspiring stories and beautiful moments.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS MAY 23

Vietnam backs rules-based multilateral trading system: official

HCM City museums seek to digitize, widen reach

Most museums in HCM City are in the process of restoring, upgrading and rearranging their display systems after long closures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

VN determinedly stops slow public investment projects

It is estimated that until May 31, Vietnam disbursed only 22.37 percent of its public investment budget.

Vietnam’s SEA Games football victory finds prominent coverage in foreign media

ESPN ran a front-page story headlined “Vietnam retain Southeast Asian Games gold medal against Thailand to prove they are still force to be reckoned with,” saying “even at the simplest level, it was a victory with plenty of significance.”

31ST SEA GAMES: UPDATES MAY 23

Cambodian sports make giant leap at SEA Games 31

Vietnam’s pangasius exports return to high level

After a period of difficulty in key export markets, Vietnam’s exports of pangasius catfish have recovered and grown strongly in the early months of 2022.

New record, big stride of Vietnam’s sport

Vietnam have wrapped up their SEA Games 31 run at the top of the medal table with 205 golds, including the much-anticipated one in the men’s football claimed on May 22 night.

More favourable rule system urged for healthcare PPPs

A more robust legal framework is being sought to strengthen public-private partnerships in the health sector, thus increasing the system’s resilience and sustainability for better preparation for new pandemics.

Vietnam promotes development agenda on WEF 52 sidelines

Deputy PM Le Minh Khai of Vietnam met a number of executives of international organisations and businesses on the sidelines of the ongoing 52nd World Economic Forum in Switzerland to promote connectivity between the government and businesses.

Hanoi’s specialty listed among CNN's best Asian noodle dishes

Pho, Bun cha and Cao lau were praised by US news site CNN to be the best the most mouth-watering noodle dishes across Asia.

Vietnam's special things: Bun rieu served on pink-themed boat at floating market

An old farmer in Gia Lai Province turns bamboo into a micro communal house while a teacher in Quang Nam Province creates unique works of art from discarded leaves.
back_to_top