Luu Thi Thanh: Dedicated to Vietnam sepak takraw

Friday, 2010-10-22 11:33:00
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Nhan Dan - Luu Thi Thanh said goodbye to the Vietnam national sepak takraw team once before, but has now returned to complete her task as a responsible captain to make some more good memories and say a sweet goodbye to her career at the up-coming Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in November.


This is the fourth time the Thanh Hoa-born girl has a chance to attend the Asian Games as a seasoned sepak takraw player who is respected not only in her home country, but also in the rest of the world. However, that is not the only thing that earns her respect; all the young athletes are inspired by her strong will and determination.

Thanh started to practise sepak takraw in Hanoi when she was fourteen. After she turned professional, her father passed away and Thanh became the pillar of the family. She had to work overtime to help her mother and brother, and she sent all her winnings from competitions to help her family clear their debts.

On the national team, Thanh was always a good example of effort and determination. People thought she would leave the team after she got married and had children. But only a few months after giving birth she was practising hard on the national team and helped it overcome some of their most difficult times. Despite many obstacles, Thanh took responsibility as the 'flagship' of the team and did her best to recover her strength and, especially, her flexibility, one of the most important characteristics of an excellent sepak takraw player. She succeeded because she is not someone who surrenders easily.

At the 15th Asian Games in Qatar in 2006, Luu Thi Thanh, together with Thu Ba and Hai Thao, created an 'earthquake' in the world of sepak takraw when they beat Thailand in both finals. Four years later, the same faces will defend that championship title. Now all in their thirties, with less physical strength than before, they are still determined to win in this final chance to repeat the miracle. At the 16th Asian Games, Vietnam and Thailand registered for the same two events and it is almost certain they will meet each other again in the finals. The strong opponents from Thailand are eagerly awaiting their chance to “collect the debt” from four years ago.

Fighting hard to the last, captain Thanh and her teammates hope for a very sweet farewell to their careers.


Huong Mai