Ha Thanh – pride of Vietnamese gymnastics

Sunday, 2011-12-11 22:16:00
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Top Vietnamese female gymnast Phan Thi Ha Thanh
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Nhan Dan – Phan Thi Ha Thanh made the hearts of thousands of fans tremble when she won the first ever gymnastics medal for Vietnam in an elite world-class competition, pocketing the bronze in the vaulting event at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo last October.

With that bronze medal, Ha Thanh became the first Vietnamese gymnast to secure a direct ticket to the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games.

At the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia the following month, the 20-year-old continued to shine, bagging three of the 11 gold medals won by the national gymnastics team.

The year 2011 has recorded the most outstanding milestones in the history of Vietnamese gymnastics, particularly for the country’s top gymnast, Ha Thanh.

Ha Thanh was born in 1991 in the northern port city of Hai Phong and started learning artistic gymnastics when she was six years old. She trained and practiced constantly for 14 years, overcoming many difficulties and challenges to gradually gain significant achievements in both the Vietnamese and international playing fields.

The 2005 23rd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines marked an important turning point in Thanh’s gymnastics career when she won the bronze medal on the balance beam, her first in the international arena.

At the 24th SEA Games in Thailand two years later, Thanh proved herself again by winning her first SEA Games gold medal in the women’s vaulting event.

In 2010, she bagged three gold medals at the sixth Vietnam National Sports Festival before amazing everyone by taking home two silvers in the vault and balance beam events at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Porto, Portugal in June of this year.

Ha Thanh is currently working hard to prepare for the London Olympics Games in August 2012. Thanh's brilliant achievements in the past few years give Vietnamese fans great hope that the 20-year-old gymnastics talent will continue to shine brightly at the world’s biggest sporting event next summer.