Vietnamese runner wins, sets record at Thailand ultra-trail tournament

By VNA   May 6, 2024 | 02:18 am PT
Vietnamese runner wins, sets record at Thailand ultra-trail tournament
Ha Thi Hau celebrates her win at the Amazean Jungle Thailand by UTMB in Thailand on May 4, 2024. Photo by Amazean Jungle Thailand
Vietnamese runner Ha Thi Hau won and set a new record at the Amazean Jungle Thailand by UTMB, an ultra-trail running tournament in Yala, Thailand, while her teammate Le Thi Hang came second.

Hau set her target of winning the tournament after she championed the Doi Inthanon Thailand by Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) and finished fourth at the UTMB World Series Finals last year.

Leading the 100K (106km) event late on Saturday from the very beginning, Hau did not encounter any problems throughout her race.The 35-year-old reached the finish line with in 16 hours 12.30 min to claim the women's top podium and the second place overall to Disi Liang of China who was the male champion.

It was the first time that a Vietnamese athlete has won at this tournament which is one of the toughest in the UTMB series.

In this distance, only 79 athletes could reach the finish line.

"I made it," Hau said after crossing the finish line.

"Thank you for strongly encouraging and supporting me during this race."

Although her time was not as good as her target, it was still a new tournament record beating 17:29.32 set by Anita Rai of Nepal last year.

In second place, Hang was not a medal favorite but did a good job to catch up with and pass other runners in the second half of the race, finishing in a time of 22:41.37.

Seng Lip Ku of Malaysia was third on 22:42.01.

"It was hot and rained before the start, the road was slippery leading to athletes' falling consecutively. It was the first time I was in the top three of an international trailing competition," said Hang.

Do Trong Nhan came third in the men's discipline and fourth overall. He ran in 18:44.08, ranking below Liang and Yutaro Yokouchi of Japan.

The win was considered a strong push for Hau as she announced her plan to win the 2024 UTMB World Series Finals in September in France.

In the world ranking, Hau is currently No.4 with 745 points. She is below rivals from Spain, the U.S. and Japan.

The Amazean Jungle Thailand featured more than 3,500 athletes who took part in five categories.

Other winners were Gediminas Grinius of Lithuania and Man Yee Cheung of Hong Kong who won the overall and women's 148km. Chinese Tao Luo and Belgian Vanja Cnops topped the 56km distance, respectively.

Tiago Vieira of Portugal and Yupa Saelee of the hosts took the 26km titles. Hiroyuki Kawachi of Japan and Phapada Ninvisut of Thailand were winners of the 17km.

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