Vietnamese athlete Pham Phuoc Hung won gold medal
Two Vietnamese athletes, Pham Phuoc Hung and Nguyen Ha Thanh, each bagged a medal in the final round of the 2012 Challenger Cup International Gymnastics Tournament in Ghent, Belgium, on June 10.
With 15.925 points in the parallel bars, at the most difficult rating, Pham Phuoc Hung beat off his seven rivals, including gymnasts from the Netherlands and China, to take the gold medal for the Vietnamese team.
A few minutes earlier, Nguyen Ha Thanh won bronze after an impressive performance in the vault.
This is the second time Vietnam has appeared at the annual tournament, this time with a team of seven athletes.
Nguyen Kim Lan, the team manager, said that with such a large number of top athletes from across the world, the tournament was an excellent opportunity for the Vietnamese team to prepare for the forthcoming Olympic Games in London and the Asian Championships, which will take place later this year.
The Challenger Cup, which is organised by the Belgian Gymnastics Federation, held its first meet in 2004 and this year attracted 174 athletes from 39 countries.
Earlier, at the European Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Montpellier, France on May 27, Marcel Nguyen, a Vietnamese-German athlete, also won gold in the men’s parallel bars.
Starting training at the age of four, the 25-year old, whose mother is German and father is Vietnamese, has won numerous competitions in Germany and other countries across the world.
He became a member of a popular gymnastics club in Germany, TSV Unterhaching, at the age of seven and ten years later in 2005, he was named German champion on the parallel bars.
In 2007, the young star won a bronze medal in the men’s team event at the World Gymnastics Championships and he pocketed his first gold medal at European level last year.