Vietnamese Thật wins Asian cycling championship title

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Nguyễn Thị Thật of Việt Nam secures a gold medal at the Asian Road Cycling Championship’s women’s elite road race event yesterday in Tajikistan. Photo

HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Thị Thật of Việt Nam won a gold medal at the Asian Road Cycling Championship in Tajikistan yesterday.

The national No 1 cyclist finished first in the women’s elite 111km road race clocking a time of 3 hours 11.37min on the last day of the five-day tournament in Dushanbe City.

Nguyễn Thị Thật of Việt Nam (centre) poses with her gold and second and third-placed cyclists on the podium at the Asian Road Cycling Championship yesterday in Tajikistan. Photo screen shot

Vietnamese riders were among 40 competitors in the starting line. They were not considered a title favourite as they were up against powerful athletes from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and the host nation.

Thật however received strong support from teammates, Nguyễn Thị Thi, Nguyễn Thị Thu Mai and Bùi Thị Quỳnh to join the leading peloton from the opening kilometres.

The Kazakhstani cyclists tried to push the race speed high to separate from the bunch but their efforts failed to leave the Vietnamese racers behind.

Thật, who competed for the Belgium Lotto Soudal Ladies Club for two years, met no difficulty to catch up with the pace and remained in the middle of the pack. With just 300 metres left to the finish, Thật made her move to leave all four Kazakhstani riders behind and snatch the title.

Uzmutzhanova Makhabbat and Slovyea Anshela were second and third, respectively.

It is the second time that the Vietnamese, who turned 29 earlier this month, championed at a continental tournament.

Her first time was in 2018 before she signed a contract with Lotto Soudal Ladies.

Thật’s medal is the second of Việt Nam at the tournament.

Earlier, Nguyễn Thị Bé Hồng secured a bronze in the junior women’s individual time trial 15km event on March 26.

Nguyễn Thị Bé Hồng trains prior to her race in Tajikistan. Hồng won a bronze on her international debut at the Asian Road Cycling Championship in Tajikistan. Photo of Nguyễn Thị Bé Hồng

The 17-year-old was third with a time of 21.57min behind cyclists Anna Kuskova of Uzbekistan (20.06) and Dariua Kazakbay of Kazakhstan (20.54).

It was the first time that Hồng took part in a continental event.

After the Dushanbe event, An Giang Province-born Thật will return home and train for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in May.

Cycling will be held in Hòa Bình Province with 12 events in road races from May 19-22 and mountain biking from May 14-17.

Athletes will have a 10-day training period at the competition venue to get familiar with the weather and racing route. VNS

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