October 26, 2023
HANOI – Nguyễn Thị Huyền has decided to hang up her spikes and retire after winning a gold medal at the National Athletics Championships held at Miếu Môn National Military Training Centre in Hà Nội.
Huyền, from Nam Định, continued her dominance in the women’s 400m run, surpassing strong rivals and claiming top spot with a time of 52.92 seconds. Nguyễn Thị Hằng of Hà Nội secured silver with a time of 53.23 seconds, while the bronze medal went to Hoàng Thị Minh Hạnh, also from Hà Nội, who finished in 53.63 seconds.
Following her performance, Huyền revealed the 2023 National Athletics Championships would be her final tournament in her competitive career.
“I can’t describe my feelings right now,” she said.
“As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed a significant decrease in my physical strength during training. Recently, the younger athletes have been training and competing exceptionally well. So, I was a little nervous before entering the competition.
“For me, this will be the last tournament of my life as an athlete. I will turn to a new chapter, that of a coach. It’s truly emotional to reflect on my journey over ten years, which was intertwined with the running track and holds many memories.”
Huyền cited family as another reason for her retirement. She has been married for five years and has a daughter.
“I want to return home and fulfil my responsibilities as a mother,” Huyền said.
Huyền will run one more time in the 400m hurdles, at the National Athletics Championship on October 28.
A stellar career
Although Huyền has decided to retire from her career as an athlete, her achievements remain unparalleled. She has set records that no one has been able to surpass, showcasing her unwavering determination. Her career can be summed up in one word: perseverance.
Following her accomplishments at the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in May, Huyền became the track and field athlete with the most gold medals in SEA Games history, standing on the top podium an impressive 12 times. She surpassed the previous record held by Indonesian athlete Triyaningsih, who won 11 gold medals from SEA Games 2007 to 2017.
Huyền was born into a challenging family in Ý Yên District, Nam Định Province. She joined the national team in 2011, but it wasn’t until four years later that she truly shone, winning three gold medals in the women’s 400m, 400m hurdles, and 4x400m relay at the 28th SEA Games in 2015. She also broke two SEA Games records and achieved two Olympic B standards at the regional Games in 2015. Since then, she has consistently been honoured on the top podium at every SEA Games.
In 2018, Huyền temporarily halted her career to fulfil her family obligations. However, a year later, she surprised everyone by successfully defending her two gold medals in the 400m and 400m hurdles events at the 30th SEA Games.
Through her remarkable efforts across five SEA Games, Nguyễn Thị Huyền has secured five consecutive gold medals in the 400m hurdles and has won the gold medal four times in the 400m event. Her accomplishments serve as an inspiration, embodying the relentless effort, perseverance, and determination of Vietnamese women. VNS