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Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 8:40:00 PM
Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 9:25:03 PM
by aftar singh
Nguyen Thanh Ngung (left) celebrated with sister Thi Thanh Phuc after he won the bronze medal in the 20km walk event at the last SEA Games in Indonesia. He's confident of winning the gold this time round in Myanmar. - Filepic
NGUYEN Thanh Ngung of Vietnam is all fired up to end Malaysia’s domination in the men’s walk event.
Two years ago in Palembang, he won the bronze in the event in 1’35:48.
But for the Myanmar SEA Games, the 21-year-old Hanoi-born athlete is the favourite to win the gold after he clocked a personal best of 1’27:30 to break his national record at the Asian Walking Championships in Nomi City, Japan, in March.
Based on his time, Thanh Ngung is ranked No. 1 in South-East Asia.
Malaysia’s Lo Choon Sieng, who won the gold at the 2011 Games, is ranked second. The 28-year-old Malaccan’s best this season is 1’28:07, which he clocked in Nomi City.
Thanh Ngung believes the time has come for him to step up to the plate.
“I used to clock more than one hour 30 minutes in competitions. But after some intensive training since last year, I broke my national record by more than three minutes. It’s my best achievement since I took up walking four years ago,” said Thanh Ngung.
“My mission in Myanmar is to beat Lo for the gold.
“I was delighted when I managed to finish sixth in Nomi City while Lo was placed seventh.
“I want to prove it here that I can beat him for the gold and end Malaysia’s domination,” said Thanh Ngung.
Thanh Ngung also likes the weather conditions in Naypyitaw.
“It is not humid here. It is quite cold and windy and it is just prefect for the 20km event,” said Thanh Ngung.
Malaysia have dominated the 20km event for the last three decades with walkers like V. Subramaniam, Narinder Singh, Mohd Shahrulhaizy Abdul Rahman and Teoh Boon Lim being the champions.
The athletics competition will begin on Dec 15 and the first event is the men’s 20km walk.
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