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The extraordinary will of the ‘queen’ to overcome obstacles

27 May 2022 | 15:36 | Football

“I am very happy”, Nguyen Thi Oanh smiles brightly for the camera in the corner of the courtyard of My Ding after finishing the final match of the 31st Southeast Asian Games. She just broke the conference record she set three years ago in the 3000m steeplechase.

It was one of three gold medals won by Nguyen Thi Oanh at the 31st Southeast Asian Games.

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Nguyen Thi Oanh won 3 gold medals to become one of the 4 best athletes at the 31st SEA Games. (Photo: Dac Huy)

“Snail Chili” with extraordinary energy

Looking at Nguyen Thi Ngan, who was “unmatched” in all three events of the 31st SEA Games, the audience could not see the most valuable qualities of this girl born in 1995. It is the will to face and overcome challenges.

“Nguyen Thi Oanh is a dynamic girl with a strong will to compete”, Coach Tran Van Sy once shared with his students.

Nguyen Thi Oanh’s forte is 3,000m over obstacles. But in order to claim the prestigious medal, the girl born in 1995 had to overcome obstacles that didn’t just appear on the runway. Even the champion of the SEA Games was almost eliminated from the competition after winning the first place in the international arena.

Nguyen Thi Oanh has been involved with athletics since primary and secondary school. At the age of 15, Nguyen Thi Oanh began to practice professionally, although the coaches themselves are not sure of her professional ability, she is only about 1.5 meters tall and weighs only 40 kilograms.

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Nguyen Thi Oanh competed in 3 events in 2 days at the 31st Southeast Asian Games and won a gold medal for the Vietnamese sports delegation.

The 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar was Nguyen Thi Oanh’s first milestone on this playground. She earned a silver medal in her strengths content. Within a year, “Snail” received news of a lightning strike from a doctor.

Nguyen Thi Oanh has glomerulonephritis. It’s curable, but stops playing completely, and treatment regimens and medications can also affect many muscles, bones, and joints. She wanted to retire too soon.

Returning to racing after over a year of therapy, Nguyen Thi Oanh could not run 800m, let alone 3000m over obstacles. It took “Snail Chili” another 2 years to partially recover and then gave himself a big surprise at the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia.

There was no 3000m obstacle course in that year’s Congress. Nguyen Thi Oanh moved to the 1,500m and 5,000m distances and finished 10 seconds ahead of the runner-up with two gold medals. Since then, Nguyen Thi Oanh has been mentioned even more than her strengths at these two distances.

Top hat trick at the 31st SEA Games

In the past 5 years, Vietnam’s track and field has no rival Nguyen Thi Vin in the 1,500m, 5,000m and 3,000m hurdles. Southeast Asia is the same.

She won all three individual gold medals at the 30th Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines three years ago. Especially her strong distance, Nguyen Thi Oanh broke the record with a time of 10 minutes and 0.02 seconds. In the 31st SEA Games, “Snail Pepper” once again staged a gold hat-trick, setting a new record in the 3000-meter obstacle course.

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Nguyen Thi Oanh is no match for obstacle distances of 1,500m, 5,000m and 3,000m.

Hats off to this petite girl nicknamed “Snail Chili” for competing in 3 events in less than 48 hours and always outperforming other national athletes on the track. The 1,500-meter long-distance run on the morning of May 14 was like a warm-up match for the championship.

Before the round was over, Nguyen Thi Oanh had already jumped a few meters ahead of his opponent. She reached the finish line more than 10 seconds before the runner-up – teammate Khuat Phuong Anh.

“The schedule was a big challenge and breaking the record was a surprise for me. I had very little rest and when I finished my tests I had a doping check, so it was even shorter. I don’t know if I It can be done. Make sure to complete all zero distances in a healthy way”, Smiling brightly, Nguyen Thi Oanh reached out to quickly wipe away sweat and tears of happiness during the interview.

Just the day before, after winning the first two gold medals at the 31st SEA Games, Nguyen Thi Ngan was too nervous to give an interview.

The female athlete, born in 1995, also had to endure a lot of pressure in the championship position without an opponent. Nguyen Thi Oanh suffers from chronic insomnia, but that seems trivial compared to the challenges she has overcome.