Vietnamese long jumper Bùi Thị Thu Thảo won a gold medal in the Asian Games (ASIAD) 2018 in Indonesia on Monday.
It is the first gold medal for Việt Nam’s track-and-field team at any Asian Games.
Thảo’s jump of 6.55m surpassed Neena Varakil of India, who took silver with 6.51m, and Xiaoling Xu of China, who won bronze with 6.50m.
Meanwhile, ASIAD 2014 champion, Maria Londa of Indonesia struggled, slumping to fifth place with 6.45m.
Four years ago, at the Asian event in Incheon, South Korea, Londa overcame Thảo to take gold with 6.55m, while Thảo settled for silver with 6.44m.
Thảo’s personal best in the women’s long jump is 6.68m, which she achieved at the SEA Games last year. At the 2018 Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Tehran, Iran in February, Thảo brought home a gold medal with 6.2m.
According to Thảo, her husband’s love is a driving force for her to compete and before heading to Indonesia she wished she would take a gold medal to give to her husband, Lê Văn Tiến.
“I was very confident to compete today. Before competing, I posted a photo holding the national flag to drive me to victory on Facebook. I tried my best to have my dream become true. I thanked my coaches, family, friends and fans very much,” said Thảo.
According to Dương Đức Thuỷ, head of athletics section of the National Sports Administration, Thảo’s result is a fruit for her efforts.
Thảo’s victory is all the more impressive when considering she was born in a poor family in Hà Nội’s mountainous district of Ba Vì. As a child, she used to help her parents bind bricks and grow rice.
Thảo’s gold medal is Việt Nam’s second in this edition of the continental sports event.
Earlier, Vietnamese rowers secured the country’s first gold medal in the women’s lightweight quadruple sculls event in a time of 7:01.11, 3.27 seconds faster than the Iranian runners-up and 5.11 seconds faster than bronze medalists South Korea.
Following Thảo’s result, Voice of Việt Nam immediately awarded her VNĐ100 million (US$4,350).
In the woman’s 400m hurdle, Quách Thị Lan won silver medal with a time of 55.30secs. Oluwakemi Adekoya of Bahrain took gold with a time of 54.48secs. Another Bahrain athlete, Aminat Jamal bagged bronze after clocking a time of 55.65secs.
In pencak silat, Vietnamese martial artists brought home three silver medals.
Nguyễn Ngọc Toàn lost to Pratama Iqbal Candra of Indonesia 1-4 in the men’s final of 60-65kg category, while duo Trần Đức Danh and Lê Hồng Quân also won silver in the men’s doubles’ performance. The gold medal went to the Indonesian team, while the Malaysian team claimed bronze.
In the men’s trio performance, Vũ Tiến Dũng, Nguyễn Xuân Thành and Lưu Văn Nam brought home another silver medal after losing to Indonesia in the final.
With two gold medals, 11 silvers and 13 bronzes, Việt Nam have risen to 20th in the medal table.