2014 a memorable year for weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan

Friday, 2015-02-06 07:25:43
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Top Vietnamese weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan
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NDO – Weightlifter Thach Kim Tuan experienced an extremely successful year in 2014 with prolific achievements, both at home and abroad, all at the young age of 20.

Inspired by the first SEA Games gold medal for Vietnamese weightlifting in 2013, Thach Kim Tuan went on to excel in 2014 with a series of new records established in his preferred 56kg weight category. After a year of constant training, the 20-year-old made his mark on the weightlifting world by winning three gold medals and setting two records at the World Youth Weightlifting Championships; one silver and two records at the 17th Asian Games (Asiad); one gold and two silver medals at the World Weightlifting Championships; and three gold medals at the 7th National Games.

At the conclusion of the Junior World Weightlifting Championships last June in Russia, Kim Tuan won three gold medals (133kg snatch, 160kg clean and jerk, 293kg total) and broke the two junior world records set by Chinese Long Qingquan at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (132kg snatch, 292kg total). With such outstanding performances, Tuan was voted by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) as the best lifter of the tournament, which pushed him to top position on the world junior standings.

Despite missing out on the top honour at the 17th Asiad in Incheon, Republic of Korea (RoK) three months later, Tuan satisfied his trainers and home fans after he secured the silver medal in the snatch category and set two new Asiad records with a 134kg snatch lift and 294kg total lift.

The 2014 IWF World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan last November continued to witness a shining performance by Thach Kim Tuan as he claimed first place in his preferred snatch event with a best lift of 135kg, beating Chinese weightlifters, Li Fabin (134kg) and Long Quingquan (133kg). Tuan also added two additional silvers to his medal collection with a 161kg clean and jerk lift and a total lift of 296kg, the best achievements Tuan has obtained in his weightlifting career so far.

“Going through numerous difficulties and challenges, I have gained a lot from weightlifting,” he shared.

Tuan became acquainted with weightlifting at the age of 12 and soon showed off his ability in this field of sport. He was then introduced by a neighbour to a weightlifting trainer Huynh Huu Chi, which marked a historic turning point in Tuan’s life. After just three years of training, Tuan’s efforts paid off with three world youth silver medals in 2009 and a precious Youth Olympic gold a year later. These could be considered the most important milestones in Tuan’s weightlifting career.

Wrapping up a competition year of remarkable success, Tuan received over VND1 billion (US$47,000) in total prize money, making him the highest paid athlete in Vietnamese sport in 2014. The consecutive successes in the past year were Tuan’s special gifts for his trainers and home fans, who had always stood beside and supported him. After only recently turning 20, Tuan still has a long way ahead to go. The sparkling achievements thus far obtained will boost his confidence and inspire him to make greater efforts for future success.

As planned, Tuan will resume training after the Lunar New Year (Tet) vacation in preparation for his 2015 goals. As weightlifting has been excluded from the 28th Southeast Asian Games this June, the training staff of the national team is driving Tuan to compete in other international competitions, with a solitary goal of securing a position at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.