Monday , July 15 2024

Young Vietnamese athlete impresses Singapore star swimmer with SEA Games performance


Singapore ace swimmer Quah Ting Wen was surprised when she saw Nguyen Thuy Hien competing next to her and winning bronze in SEA Games 32 women’s 100 m freestyle event.

Quah, 30, won the gold medal on Monday night after finishing her swim in 55.83 seconds, which put her number of gold medals to 27 in 12 SEA Games editions. The 14-year-old Thuy Hien claimed bronze by finishing in 56.42 seconds. This is Hien’s very first SEA Games medal.

“Winning a medal is beyond my expectations. I’m really happy to compete with Quah Ting Wen, one of my idols,” Hien said.

Nguyen Thuy Hien wins a bronze medal in the womens 100 m freestyle swimming at SEA Games 32 on May 8, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Nguyen Thuy Hien wins a bronze medal in the women’s 100 m freestyle swimming at SEA Games 32 on May 8, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Quah said she was astonished to see Hien swimming in the next lane. The Singapore star swimmer is 1.75 m tall while Hien is only 1.49 m.

“Her small physique surprised me at first,” Quah said. “She performed really well and I congratulated her after the final.”

Quah said Hien can make a lot of progress when her physique is fully developed.

“Time will tell if she can be as successful as Anh Vien. Please give her as much support as possible,” Quah added, referring to the Vietnamese star swimmer who was named the best woman athlete of the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines after winning six gold medals and two silvers.

Quah Ting Wen (L) shakes hands with Nguyen Thuy Hien. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Quah Ting Wen (L) shakes hands with Nguyen Thuy Hien at SEA Games 32 in Cambodia, May 8, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

In the 2022 Vietnam National Games, Hien made her mark with four gold and five silver medals. She even broke the national record of the women’s 50 m swim in 26.59 seconds, which was 11% second faster than Vien’s old record.

The impressive performance put Hien into a group of promising athletes and she went on a training trip to Hungary two months before SEA Games 32. However, Huyen was not under the pressure of winning medals in this tournament.

“People don’t expect anything, they just encouraged me to do my best,” Hien said.

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