Entertainment: Viet Nam Gymnastics at the London 2012 Olympics

Viet Nam’s gymnasts have been making a strong splash in the past couple of years. During the Beijing 2008 Olympics the only gymnast from Viet Nam was Đỗ Thị Ngân Thương (names are reversed in Viet Nam as opposed to English so her family name is Đỗ while her given name is Thương) who was invited via the Tripartite Invitation. This invitation is a collective effort between the International Olympic Committee and the International Federations to develop systems that would allow the best athletes to compete but also adhere to the principle of universal representation. She did not pass the preliminary round and ended up being disqualified due to a banned substance found in her system. After a year or two she came back to competition stronger and wiser, as thus she was granted a place in the London 2012 Olympics via the Olympic Test Event (placing 72nd overall) in January due to injuries to many of the world’s top gymnasts.

The other female gymnast that qualified for the London 2012 Olympics is Phan Thị Hà Thanh (again Phan being the family name while Thanh is the given name) earned her ticket to the London 2012 Olympics via her vault score at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, Japan. She received the bronze medal for the following vaults:

The final gymnast that qualified from Viet Nam is Phạm Phước Hưng (Phạm being the family name and Hưng being his given name). Much like Thương in the female gymnastics competition, Hưng also qualified via the Olympic Test Event. Not only that, a rising star in Vietnamese gymnastics, Hung showed his prowess by winning the gold medal in men’s parallel bars at the Challengers Cup 2012 International Gymnastics Tournament in Belgium (placing 43rd overall).

With only two medals total in the Summer Olympic games, both silver in Taekwondo (Trần Hiếu Ngân for the Women’s 57kg event at Sydney 2000) and Weightlifting (Hoàng Anh Tuấn for the Men’s 56kg event at Beijing 2008) it is difficult to say how the gymnasts would ultimately place… but I am fairly confident that as the gymnastics program in Viet Nam strengthens so will the talent pool and I would not be surprised to see their gymnasts stand on the podium in future Olympics if not for the upcoming one.