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Marathoner wins historic gold for Vietnam

HANOI (VNA) – Hoang Nguyen Thanh has made history as the first-ever gold medallist of Vietnam in the men’s marathon event at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

During the event yesterday near Hanoi-based My Dinh National Stadium, Thanh faced fierce competition from defending champion Agus Prayogo of Indonesia and Tony Ah-Thit Payne of Thailand.

He reached the finish line first after 2:25:08, faster than the second-placed Prayogo by 30 seconds.

In addition, he set a new personal record than his previous one, which was 2:26:56.

The 27-year-old from the southern province of Binh Phuoc quenched Vietnam’s thirst for medals in the men’s marathon for more than six decades.

Previously, Pham Thi Binh clinched a gold medal in the women’s marathon for Vietnam at the 28th SEA Games in 2013.

Speaking to reporters after the competition, Thanh said he pushed himself to the finish line in the last kilometres, which was helped by supportive cheers from the locals.

Meanwhile, Vietnam also bagged two more golds in the men’s and women’s 20-kilometre (km) walk by Vo Xuan Vinh and Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc.

Nguyen Thanh Ngung clinched bronze in the men’s 20km walk.

Hoang Nguyen Thanh celebrates as he crosses the finish line. PHOTO: VNA