Vietnam track queen gets dusted at world tournament

By Xuan Binh   July 20, 2022 | 02:00 am PT
Vietnam track queen gets dusted at world tournament
Quach Thi Lan poses by the track of World Athletics Championships in Oregon, U.S., on July 20, 2022. Photo courtesy of Quach Thi Lan
Quach Thi Lan, Vietnam's top athlete, exited the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, U.S. after a disappointing run Wednesday.

Of the seven people competing in the third heat of the women's 400-m hurdles, the top five took just under 56 seconds each to complete their run. Lan finished in 58.84 seconds and only placed above one athlete who quit midway.

After five heats, Lan ranked 35th out of 37 participating athletes. The result was not enough to help her enter the semifinals, reserved for the top 24.

Vietnam has yet to field an athlete that could make it to the world championship semifinals. At Tokyo Olympics 2020, Lan became the first Vietnamese athlete to reach the semifinals at the event.

Her time of 58.84 seconds is also Lan's slowest result in the women's 400-meter hurdles since 2015, when she finished her run in a tournament in Gainesville, Florida in 59.16 seconds.

In her career, Lan has beaten 56 seconds three times, including 55.30 seconds at the 2018 Asian Games, 55.98 seconds at the 2020 national tournament, and 55.71 seconds at the Tokyo Olympics.

The athlete who finished 24th and won the last slot to the semifinals was Italy’s Linda Olivieri with 56.09 seconds.

Topping the heat is world number one Femke Bol of the Netherlands with 53.90 seconds. American athletes Sydney McLaughlin and Daliah Muhammad are behind in 53.95 seconds and 54.45 seconds, respectively. All three athletes are medal contenders.

Lan is the 400-m hurdles defending champion of Asian Championship, Asian Games and SEA Games. She will have to defend all three titles in 2023. The 27-year-old is the only representative of Vietnam at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, taking place from July 15 to 24.

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