Golden girl Huyen sets SEA Games record

By Vy Anh   May 11, 2023 | 11:42 pm PT
Golden girl Huyen sets SEA Games record
Nguyen Thi Huyen (R) during her run in the women's 400m hurdles at SEA Games 32 on May 11, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
After victory in the women's 400 m hurdles on Thursday, Nguyen Thi Huyen became the most successful runner in SEA Games history, bagging her 12th ever gold in the competition.

Huyen won 12 SEA Games gold medals from 2015 to 2023, winning at least two gold medals in each of the past five SEA Games.

Huyen has now overtaken the 11 golds won by Indonesia’s Triyaningsih from 2007-2017 where she cleaned up in the 5,000 m and 10,000 m events.

Thanks to Huyen's contribution, Vietnam has dominated athletics in the last three SEA Games.

The final of the women's 400m hurdles on Thursday witnessed a dramatic race between Huyen and Robin Lauren Brown. The Filipino athlete took the lead for most of the race, but was surpassed by Huyen later on.

Huyen reached the finish line with a time of 56.29 seconds. Brown received a silver medal on 56.51 seconds, and Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Ngoc took the bronze on 59.9.

"The opponent from Philippines had a great run as she was ahead of me most of the time," Huyen said after the race. "Sometimes I panicked, but I stayed focused and kept sprinting."

This is the second consecutive SEA Games that Huyen has beat Brown and also the fifth time in a row that she won gold in the women’s 400m hurdles.

The victory helped Huyen forget defeat in the women's 400m run two days earlier. She was the champion in the previous four SEA Games, but was placed in an unfavorable lane this time, which affected her performance and she took home silver. It is the only event where Huyen has failed to win a gold medal at the SEA Games 32 so far.

Already on two gold medals, Huyen still has the opportunity to win another in the women's 4x400m relay on Friday, the last day of the athletics.

Thailand are leading the current SEA Games athletics with 13 gold medals. Vietnam are in second on have 10 gold medals, while Indonesia rank third with seven.

Vietnamese athletes who win gold at the current Games will receive a bonus of VND45 million ($1,918) from the government, while a silver medal will bring them VND25 million and a bronze VND20 million.

If an athlete breaks a Games record, they will receive an additional VND20 million. Besides this, there are also bonuses from national sports federations and sponsors.

Nguyen Thi Huyen's run in the women's 400 m hurdles at SEA Games 32

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