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The home field paradox of Vietnamese weightlifting

At the 31st SEA Games in May, the Vietnamese weightlifting team only hopes to win 2 gold medals, although more than 2 years ago, at the 30th SEA Games, the Vietnamese athletes won 4 golds, 5 silvers and 1 bronze. The paradox of setting a lower goal, even though playing at home, seems difficult to explain, but it is not too difficult to understand if you look at the participating force as well as the level of weightlifting in Southeast Asia.

Times affect the target

If you look at the history of the SEA Games participation of Vietnamese weightlifting, perhaps there has never been a time as favorable as the competition at SEA Games 30. The time of SEA Games 30 in 2019, is also the time for weightlifting. Thailand and Malaysia are still banned from international competition by the World Weightlifting Federation because some athletes tested positive for stimulants in competition. Meanwhile, Thai weightlifting is always in the top group of Southeast Asia and has owned many championships, especially in women’s weight classes that can compete for the world and Asian championships. If Thai weightlifters can participate in the 30th SEA Games, of course, Vietnamese weightlifters can only aim to win 2 gold medals. But with that time, the managers mentioned winning 3-4 gold medals.

It must also be mentioned that Vietnamese weightlifting at that time was fully prepared, according to the right schedule. In particular, foreign training trips have been carried out to help the athletes be in the best physical and psychological condition when entering the 30th SEA Games. And in fact, from Thailand, Malaysia cannot participate in SEA Games due to weightlifting. Games 30 as well as careful preparation, with a little luck and ecstasy in the ring, Vietnamese weightlifting won 4 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze. It is also a milestone, a record of winning a medal, especially the gold medal of Vietnamese weightlifting at a SEA Games.

I’m glad, but right after that SEA Games, General Secretary of the Vietnam Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Federation Do Dinh Khang said that the above achievement would be difficult to repeat if Thailand were to return to the international playing field. However, those responsible for Vietnamese weightlifting also calculate that the above achievement can be repeated at the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam in December 2021, when the ban on international competition with Thai weightlifting is still in effect.

The home field paradox of Vietnamese weightlifting - 1

President Hoang Thi Duyen in a training session prepare for SEA Games 31. Photo: Bui Luong

But at that time, the managers or the team’s coaching board did not consider the situation that the 31st SEA Games would have to postpone the match. The arrival of the COVID-19 epidemic turned everything upside down. Sport This is just one part of a series of upheavals caused by COVID-19 in the world, in which the 31st SEA Games was forced to postpone the match schedule and move to May 2022. At this time, Thai weightlifting has returned to international tournaments and of course, the 31st SEA Games playground cannot be ignored.

Also for this reason, Vietnamese weightlifting was forced to adjust the medal quota at the 31st SEA Games. It is normal when the competition has been much fiercer than expected and the common ground of Thai weightlifting. always outperformed Vietnamese weightlifting. From setting the goal of winning 3 gold medals, Vietnamese weightlifting has adjusted the target down to 2 gold medals at the 31st SEA Games.

In a recent exchange, in charge of weightlifting (General Department of Physical Education and Sports) Nguyen Huy Hung also had to admit that, even after setting the target of 2 gold medals, Vietnamese athletes will also face a lot of challenges. difficulties in conquering the target in the face of competition from the capitals from Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Where to find HCV from?

The Vietnamese weightlifting team has registered a preliminary list to attend the 31st SEA Games. That list is not available Thach Kim Tuan, runner-up in the 61kg class at the 30th SEA Games and Vuong Thi Huyen, the reigning SEA Games champion in the 45kg class. It is also not surprising because for many reasons, both were unable to win tickets to the 31st SEA Games after the selections at the National Championships in 2021. In which, Thach Kim Tuan did not attend because he had not attended. recovering from an injury, which once prevented him from performing at his best at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

As for Vuong Thi Huyen, even though she attended, she only won the runner-up position in the general election (total achievements in the women’s 45kg weightlifting and pushing events) and left the ticket to the 31st SEA Games in the hands of young contestant Khong My Phuong. According to the criteria for selecting athletes to attend the 31st SEA Games of the Vietnamese weightlifting team, only the first place in each weight class will win tickets. At the 31st SEA Games, each country can only send 1 athlete to participate in 1 weight class, so that is also the reason for the National Team Training Board to set the above selection criteria to avoid unnecessary controversy.

However, as people in the profession have commented, even when attending the next SEA Games, Thach Kim Tuan will find it difficult to compete for the men’s 61kg gold medal. In that weight class, the world’s leading Indonesian champion Y.Eko (the runner-up of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics) is always unmatched in Southeast Asia, so any Vietnamese candidate who attends only hopes to compete for silver.

Therefore, a younger candidate than Thach Kim Tuan attending this event is also good for Vietnamese weightlifting, contributing to a more favorable transfer of forces. Once, General Secretary of the Vietnam Weightlifting – Bodybuilding Federation Do Dinh Khang once said that in the current period, there is a transition in strength in the men’s 61kg category between Thach Kim Tuan and some other young athletes. . The more opportunities these young athletes have to compete internationally, the more likely they are to inherit their seniors.

As for Vuong Thi Huyen, in the last 2 years, her achievements and performance have also slowed down while the young cities are still making continuous progress. Huyen’s failure to win a place at the 31st SEA Games is similar to the story of “old bamboo and growing bamboo shoots” and in some ways also has a reason to be optimistic about the successor team.

Up to this point, at the 31st SEA Games playground, Vietnamese weightlifting is again looking to the gold medal winners at SEA Games 30 such as Lai Gia Thanh (men’s 55kg), Hoang Thi Duyen (59kg women’s), Pham Hong Thanh (women’s 64kg) to achieve the goal of winning 2 gold medals even though the 31st SEA Games has 14 sets of medals (7 men’s weight classes, 7 women’s weight classes).

Not to mention, the process of preparing for the 31st SEA Games of Vietnamese weightlifting also encountered many difficulties. Most notably, the team did not go to long-term overseas training due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. With only domestic training, the achievement problem at SEA Games 31 is more and more unpredictable. Meanwhile, athletes from some countries in the region compete and train regularly internationally. Therefore, the competition Playing at home does not bring too many advantages.

Not to mention, weightlifting doesn’t attract the socializing resources like many other sports. The investment for athletes, even when training in the country, is almost negligible. That is a long-standing problem of this subject and up to now, the Vietnam Weightlifting – Bodybuilding Federation has not been able to fulfill its role as a bridge between businesses and other social resources with the team and athletes.

As the Head of Weightlifting (General Department of Physical Education and Sports) Nguyen Huy Hung shared, at this moment, he can only encourage the team’s coaches and athletes to strive to overcome difficulties. Fortunately, at this time, the coaches and athletes are still showing great effort and determination. And no matter what, still have to rely on the element of luck, even when playing at home.

Save Thach Kim Tuan for ASIAD 19

Not attending the 31st SEA Games, but candidate Thach Kim Tuan will also be prepared to attend ASIAD 19 next September in China. According to the managers’ calculations, by that time, Thach Kim Tuan will be in better shape due to having enough time to treat the injury and be able to compete for the men’s 61kg medal. The problem now depends entirely on the determination of this election. (Minh Khue)

According to Minh Ha (Police)

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