Vietnamese weightlifting looks towards farther goals

Tuesday, 2017-09-26 10:16:19
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Trinh Van Vinh reacts after completing his 62kg performance.
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NDO – The 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG 2017) have witnessed the unwavering and impressive form of the Vietnamese weightlifters. The gold medals won at these two Games are the premise for the Vietnamese weightlifting team to optimistically move towards the Asian Games (Asiad) in 2018.

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Ahead of the 29th SEA Games, Vietnamese weightlifting only dared to set a goal of winning one gold medal, with the greatest hope pinned on top lifter Thach Kim Tuan in the men’s 56kg category. In the end, Tuan struggled to accomplish that target with a total lift of 269kg, which had been forecast as he had just recovered from injury and had yet to reclaim his best form.

However, the joy was multiplied as young lifter Trinh Van Vinh surprisingly took the top honour and as he broke two SEA Games records in the men’s 62kg competition, with a total lift of 306kg. Vinh’s gold medal allows Vietnam to set farther goals, including the gold medal target at the 2018 ASIAD in this weight category.

Over three weeks after the conclusion of the SEA Games, Vietnamese lifters began their campaign at the AIMAG 2017 in Turkmenistan, where they overwhelmed the men’s 56kg competition thanks to the excellence of Thach Kim Tuan and Tran Le Quoc Toan. Kim Tuan snatched the gold medal with ease with a total lift of 282kg, 13kg better than his performance at the 29th SEA Games. Meanwhile, Quoc Toan settled for a silver medal with a lift of 276kg, his stable weight level over the last few years.

Reigning SEA Games champion Trinh Van Vinh achieved another milestone in his career by claiming the men’s 62kg title at the AIMAG arena with a total lift of 302kg, beating the Chinese silver medalist, Lei Haitao by up to 14kg.

Top Vietnamese weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan

However, when comparing the results reached by Thach Kim Tuan and Trinh Van Vinh at the two aforementioned Games, with those of the gold medal winners at the Asiad 2014, it can be seen that the top two Vietnamese weightlifters still have to work hard to have the opportunity of battling for medals at the next edition of Asiad, in Indonesia next year. With regards to the men’s 62kg category, the total lifts of the gold and silver medalists at the Asiad 2014 were 332kg and 321kg, respectively. Even the bronze medalist managed to lift 308kg, 2kg more than the 29th SEA Games record set by Vietnam’s Trinh Van Vinh.

As for Thach Kim Tuan, whether he will be able to repeat the silver medal level of 294kg as at the Asiad 2014 or not, still remains a question. It requires clarification by the Vietnamese weightlifting team in its preparation for the Asiad 2018. As stated by Do Dinh Khang, Deputy Director of the High Performance Sports Department I, the Asiad is much larger and fiercer than the AIMAG arena; therefore, Vietnamese lifters’ taking the top honour at the significant tournaments in 2017 does not mean that they will surely pocket a medal at the Asiad competition.

It is undeniable that 2017 is a “golden year” for Vietnamese weightlifting. However, the real challenge awaits for Vietnamese lifters at the Asiad 2018.